Here’s a brief summary of the background: Late last year, on the basis of my complaint to the Police Commission, the City of LA resumed enforcement of LAMC 52.34 against BID security forces.1 Since then I’ve been tracking the progress of this massive project via various CPRA requests. In November 2016 the Police Commission informed all BIDs of the registration requirement. In December 2017 the Police Commission told the BIDs to quit whining and comply with the law.
Meanwhile, the latest piece of evidence in the ongoing saga of the registration of BID Patrols with the Police Commission comes from a huge release of emails by the Fashion District BID2 These span the time from July 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017 and are mostly between BID staff and the City of Los Angeles.3
There is an awful lot to write about here, but today I just want to highlight this interesting December 2016 email from FDBID operations director Randall Tampa to Eugene Shin, who’s the Police Commission investigator who’s handling the registration project. Randall Tampa sees the bigger picture here. It’s not a loss for BIDs who want to be free of any kind of oversight by the City, but a win for higher quality governance for everyone in Los Angeles:
I totally agree and support the police commission (and you) in your efforts to assure that only qualified personnel are patrolling the streets of Los Angeles.
In his email, Randall Tampa explicitly relates this opinion to his own experience as a police officer, proving yet again that people with experience in matters usually are much saner and have much more robust insights into how to regulate them. Most of the BIDs in our fair City are run by a bunch of cop-loving wannabes4 who are essentially see City governance as some kind of bizarre role-playing game, like Zillionaires versus Homeless, or whatever, rather than as an arena where wisdom and experience are far more essential than zillionaire-itude.
True, the Fashion District BID is presently having the stuffing sued out of it in federal court for its malfeasance and illegal conspiracies with the LAPD, and rightly so. They will lose this suit if there’s justice in the world, and be forced to pay endless amounts of money, but while they’re losing that suit, while they’re criminally conspiring with the cops, at least they’re putting up a professional front. At least they’re not a fricking embarrassment to themselves and others. (Turn the page for a complete transcription of Randall Tampa’s email and some musings on the nature of evil and frontery.)
I know there’s a case to be made for evildoers with a good front being somehow worse than evildoers who look evil, but really, after yet another week, another month, another year spent bickering with BIDdies who don’t have the first clue that it’s nothing more than their money or the money of their patrons that gives them their position, their power, and that they have position and power despite the fact that they’re neither competent nor sane, I can’t help but be refreshed at at least some signs of competence. Yes, they’re evil. Yes, they must be destroyed. But at least they are serious opponents, worthy of respect. They’re not destroying themselves through their own idiocy. And I appreciate that, I really do.
Subject: BID Officers information
From: Randall Tampa
Date: 12/01/2016 11:36 AM
To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ <email@example.com>
I read your email that you sent to the various BIDs. Let me say I totally agree and support the police commission (and you) in your efforts to assure that only qualified personnel are patrolling the street of Los Angeles.
The Fashion District currently has four BID officers in the final testing phases with both the LAPD and the LASO. Having come from a police department myself and being married to a retired captain with the LAPD (Jodi Wakefield), I know that the police commission has the the City of Los Angeles and the BIDs’ best interest in mind.
We look forward to participating and having our personnel checked and sanctioned by the Police Commission.
In closing, please express to Mr. Tefank that Jodi and I say hello and Happy Holidays.
LA Fashion District
424 E. 15th Street #11
Los Angeles, CA 90015
The image of Randall Tampa started life as a news photo from here, which may well have been copyrighted by someone, but at this point I’ve transformatively utilized it to such an extent that I have no compunction whatsoever about proclaiming proudly to the world that it is now ©2017 MichaelKohlhaas.org.
- This law, LAMC 52.34, requires private security companies that operate for hire on public streets, to register with the Police Commission, have their officers submit to background checks, and be subject to investigation and discipline by the Commission, among other things.
- Really by the FDBID’s executive director, the incomparable Rena Leddy, who not only understands the CPRA, but is committed to abiding by it. Oh, sure, sometimes we disagree on an interpretation or two, but we’re disagreeing in the way that reasonable people who are talking about the same thing might disagree. This is in sharp contrast to the crazy-people-style word salad propounded by other BID staff elsewhere in response to perfectly reasonable CPRA requests. Ah, sigh, right? What’s also interesting is that I just discovered recently that Laurie Sale, Executive Director of the Palisades BID, is actually on the board of directors of the Fashion District BID, presumably as the representative of some property owner(s). If only she’d ask Rena Leddy how to do CPRA instead of making it up on the fly. Probably not going to happen.
- There are a few other items mixed in there, but they’re less important.
- Steve Seyler, of Andrews International Security, inhabits some weird intermediate zone. Yes, he used to be a cop, but he was on the Inglewood PD, which is kind of like a cop-loving wannabe police department in many ways.