Tag Archives: Universal Protection Service

New Documents: StreetPlus Proposal And Contract With SLAIT BID For Security Services, 2016 Emails Between Lisa Schechter And Kerry Morrison/Devin Strecker

StreetPlus seems to be taking over the BID security business from Universal Protection Service at a fairly rapid rate, so it’s beginning to seem worthwhile to collect records about them.
Today I have two new sets of documents to announce. First, the South Los Angeles Industrial District BID recently dropped Universal Protection Service1 as its security provider and hired StreetPlus to replace them. This seems to be a trend amongst our LA BIDs, probably encouraged by the fact that unlike UPS and Andrews International, StreetPlus specializes in BID security rather than security in general.

Other recent switchovers are the Downtown Center BID, the Historic Core BID, and both South Park I and II. Also the HPOA switched its cleaning contract to StreetPlus last year. This company is turning out to be a crucial player in the LA BID game, so I’ll be focusing some attention on them from now on. The first fruits of this are the 2016 proposal and resulting contract between StreetPlus and the SLAIT BID. There are some ancillary materials included there as well. This material is not only intrinsically interesting, but it has a lot to tell us about security in other BIDs. There’s some discussion and some more links after the break.

Also, I have 29 emails between Lisa Schechter of the Hollywood Media District BID and Kerry Morrison/Devin Strecker of the HPOA. These are mostly negatively interesting for their extreme lack of content. I’m guessing this is due to them switching as much of their communication as possible to phone calls and other off-the-record media. This, in turn, demonstrates, I’m still guessing, the feeling that my constant CPRA requests have engendered amongst local BIDs that they are operating in a minefield.

Well, good. They are. And the fact that they laid these mines themselves with their arrogance, disrespect for the law, and generalized idiocy, but still for some reason manage to act surprised at the negative consequences of stepping on the mines speaks volumes of their assumptions of privilege and delusions of immunity. There are, however, a few positively interesting items, and there are links and discussion after the break.
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Newly Obtained Media District Security Logs Show Anti-Food-Coalition Hysteria To Be Even More Utterly Unfounded Than Previously Suspected

A 2014 surveillance photo of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition feeding at Sycamore and Romaine.
A 2014 surveillance photo of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition feeding at Sycamore and Romaine.
I recently obtained about 140 hand-written daily logs prepared by the Hollywood Media District BID’s security guards. These are also available via Archive.Org, which has the advantage that the whole set can be downloaded using BitTorrent. The set is not complete, and it mostly comprises swing shift logs, but I didn’t select these at all. I just scanned them in the order in which they were provided to me.

It’s been known for a while now that Universal Protection Service has carried out a years-long surveillance operation against the Media District’s perennial bête noire, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, looking for any evidence whatsoever to use in the NIMBY neighbors, the City government, and the BID’s crazed campaign against them, their byzantine conspiracies with the LAPD and others in City Government, their allies’ unavailing 2011 lawsuit against the Food Coalition, and so on. These logs are interesting because they expose some contextually surprising results of this surveillance, namely that the intersection of Sycamore and Romaine seems to be the safest area in the entire Media District BID. Despite the intense, hours-long nightly surveillance, nothing illegal ever seems to happen there. Some samples follow. Note that these are also unselected. They comprise all swing shift logs from February 2016 that mention the Coalition’s food truck at all. They’re representative, too, in the sense that the pattern holds across all the logs I looked at:
Continue reading Newly Obtained Media District Security Logs Show Anti-Food-Coalition Hysteria To Be Even More Utterly Unfounded Than Previously Suspected

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Why Aren’t BID Security Patrols Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission?

Any badge, insignia, patch or uniform used or worn by any employee, officer, member or associate of a private patrol service, while on duty for said patrol service, shall be in compliance with State law.  Any such badge, insignia, patch or uniform shall not be of such a design as to be mistaken for an official badge, insignia or uniform worn by a law enforcement officer of the City of Los Angeles or any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the City. LAMC 52.34(d)(1)
Any badge, insignia, patch or uniform used or worn by any employee, officer, member or associate of a private patrol service, while on duty for said patrol service, shall be in compliance with State law. Any such badge, insignia, patch or uniform shall not be of such a design as to be mistaken for an official badge, insignia or uniform worn by a law enforcement officer of the City of Los Angeles or any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the City. LAMC 52.34(d)(1)
Recently I was reading the Los Angeles Municipal Code1 and came across LAMC 52.34, which discusses “private patrol services” and their employees, “street patrol officers.” The gist of it seems to be2 that private patrol service operators must register with the Police Commission, and also prove that their employees’ uniforms and badges don’t look too much like real police uniforms and badges. They’re also required to have a complaint process and submit lists of employees and some other things too.

Well, as you can see from the photo above, and from innumerable other photos and videos I’ve obtained from the Hollywood BID Patrol, there is a real problem with BID Patrol officers looking like LAPD. Their uniforms are the same color, their badges are the same shape and color, and so on. Also, they’re famous for not having a complaint process, or at least not one that anyone can discover easily. The Andrews International BID Patrol isn’t the only one with this problem, either. The Media District‘s security vendor, Universal Protection Service, doesn’t seem to have one either. In fact, it was UPS Captain John Irigoyen‘s refusal to accept a complaint about two of his officers that inspired the establishment of this blog. The A/I BID Patrol is as guilty of this lapse as anyone.

Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the LA Police Commission.
Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the LA Police Commission.

The fact that private patrol operators were required to file actual documents with a city agency means that copies would be available! So I fired off some public records requests to Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the Police Commission. He answered right away and told me they’d get right on it. What a relief to discover that Police Commission CPRA requests don’t have to go through the LAPD Discovery Section, which is so notoriously slow to respond that the City of LA has had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in court-imposed fines due to their tardiness. Mr. Tefank handed me off to an officer in the permits section, and he told me that none of the three BID security contractors I asked about; Andrews International, Universal Protection, and Streetplus3 were registered. How could this be, I wondered, given what seems like the plain language of the statute? The story turns out to be immensely complicated, and with lots of new documents.
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New Documents: 2015 Emails to the Mayor’s Office from Kerry Morrison, Carol Schatz; All 2015 Fashion District Safe Team Daily Activity Logs

Carol Schatz in January 2008 at Bringing Back Broadway.
Carol Schatz in January 2008 at Bringing Back Broadway.
I have a number of interesting documents to announce this morning. There are emails to and from Eric Garcetti’s office in 2015:

Finally, there are the 2015 daily activity logs for the Fashion District Safe Team. These are interesting for a number of reasons, not least of which is that they barely seem to arrest anyone, in stark contrast to the outrageously high number of custodial arrests made by the Andrews International BID Patrol in Hollywood.
Continue reading New Documents: 2015 Emails to the Mayor’s Office from Kerry Morrison, Carol Schatz; All 2015 Fashion District Safe Team Daily Activity Logs

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Some Documents from Horlings Lawsuit against Fashion District BID Available, Illuminating Contradictions of Existence of BID Security

The scene of the crime.
The scene of the crime.
Today I have a minor piece of documention, which is the initial complaint and a bunch of miscellaneous paperwork, available here, in a lawsuit known as Horlings v. City of Los Angeles. I won’t summarize the alleged facts of the case, because I find it impossible to do so without seeming to mock the plaintiffs or to condemn some of the defendants, which I really don’t want to do. The suit is based on a horrific experience, and no one deserves to be mocked for their roles in it. In very general terms the Horlings family was the victim of a crime in Santee Alley and they sued, among other parties, the Fashion District BID based on the BID’s representation that their role and mission was to keep their district safe and clean. They also sued the City of LA, Universal Protection Service, and the LAPD.
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Now Sashaying Down the Runway for your Délectation de la Haute Couture: A Preview of our Winter Collection of Fashion District BID Documents

This is what the Fashion District looks like on the Fashion District BID's instagram page and in its fevered imagination.  The reality is quite different and, frankly, way much more simpático.
This is what the Fashion District looks like on the Fashion District BID’s instagram page and in its fevered imagination. The reality is quite different and, frankly, way much more simpático.
I’m pleased to announce the arrival of the first batch of documents from the Fashion District BID. Mostly I decided to start collecting documents from them because of the recent lawsuit against them. I’m not collecting documents specifically about the lawsuit, but rather records which will allow researchers and interested parties to form an accurate understanding of the BID itself. There’s not much that’s super-interesting here yet, but links to what I have may be found after the break.
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DCBID Shift Summaries, Carol Schatz Emails, CCEA Safety Team Materials

Carol Schatz about to grasp and crush someone or something and making the guy behind her on the right a little queasy.
Carol Schatz about to grasp and crush someone or something and making the guy behind her on the right a little queasy.
This evening I have the pleasure of announcing a big bunch of new documents, mostly from the DCBID, but a couple of choice bits from the CCEA as well.

• Over 500 shift summaries prepared by Universal Protection Service between January 1, 2015 and early October, 2015. You can browse them directly from here where you’ll also find a zip archive of the whole batch, or look for that same directory in the menu structure above at Documents/DCBID/Universal Protection Service/UPS Shift Summaries. No one here has had the time to look through these in detail yet.

• Fifty-three emails from/to Carol Schatz of the DCBID. These are available directly from here, and there’s also a zip archive of all of them. You can also get to them from the menu structure above if necessary. These are redacted mercilessly and almost certainly illegally (I’m working on that), but there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. These are purportedly all of Carol Schatz’s DCBID emails for the third quarter of 2015, but, you know, I don’t think everything’s here. I’m working on that too. You’ll be hearing much more about this material in the near future.

And turn the page for the latest from the Downtown Death Star BID itself!
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Many New Documents: CCEA, Media District, and HPOA.

Suzanne Holley, Chief Operating Something-or-Another with the DCBID and the Central City Association as well.
Suzanne Holley, Chief Operating Something-or-Another with the DCBID and the Central City Association as well. This image adorns this post for no reason whatsoever. I don’t even have any new documents from the DCBID.
Today is all documents, minimal commentary, no analysis:

  1. 2009 emails from HPOA about Sesame Street characters. See tag archive for context.
  2. Some new Universal Protection Service internal reports from the Media District. We already wrote about one of these. Here are a couple more.
  3. Many, many years worth of Board of Directors minutes from the CCEA provided by the ever-helpful-in-bizarro-world Raquel K. Beard. As always these people take no thought for making files sort properly in directories. I’ll fix this when I have time.
  4. A minimal number of CCEA committee minutes. According to Raquel K. Beard, “Committees do not meet monthly or quarterly, more so as needed,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. If you want a little puzzle to work out until someone around here gets time to write about it, you can think about why this item plus this email chain might add up to very, very bad news for the CCEA.


Image of Suzanne Holley is from a screenshot of this DCBID newsletter which, being a California public record, is in the public domain.

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Multi-Megabyte Treasure Trove of DCBID Documents: UPS Use of Force Manual, Beaucoup Board Minutes, Finance Committee.

If you're the kind of person to whom diagrams such as this have meaning, this one certainly has meaning to you.
If you’re the kind of person to whom diagrams such as this have meaning, this one certainly has meaning to you. Click to see full size.
I just got a ton of stuff from the ever-helpful (and, relatively speaking, surprisingly sane) Suzanne Holley of the DCBID. The most amazing item, and one which no one here has yet had time to read carefully enough to appreciate, is the 64 page PDF of the Universal Protection Service Use of Force Manual. This is an amazing piece of evidence. What it is evidence of, as always, remains to be seen. If you notice anything important in it, please drop me a line. No doubt my colleagues and I will be mining this for a long time. It is the source of the cryptic yet creepy diagram which adorns this post. There are also a bunch of slightly more pedestrian-on-their-face documents, described after the break.
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Downtown Industrial District BID / Central City East Association Documents Now Available

White skin and red blood on Skid Row.
White skin and red blood on Skid Row.
I recently started requesting documents from the Central City East Association (CCEA), which runs the Downtown Industrial District BID. I’m not sure why, it was just a whim, but the executive directrix, a lady named Raquel Beard (who long-time readers may remember for her stunningly weird remarks about sidewalk vending), turned out to be so delightfully trollable that I’m just going to keep it up for a while. I can already see a couple of ways it might develop into a long game, but I’m keeping schtum about that for now. Meanwhile, take a look at what I got today. You can begin with CCEA in the Documents menu above. Also, here is a page for the new subdirectory. After the break I describe things in more detail, if you’re interested.
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