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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/6/2005 11:44:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 11:45:50 AM EDT by leo6223]
LAPD Debates How to Police Homeless


Dateline: Los Angeles.CA - 10/6/2005

LA Times
By Cara Mia DiMassa and Stuart Pfeifer




The debate over what to do about the homeless problem in downtown Los Angeles is informed — and complicated — by the decidedly divergent views on the issue voiced by Los Angeles' two top law enforcement officials.

When Sheriff Lee Baca talks about his goal of ending homelessness in Los Angeles County, he sounds more like an idealistic social worker than the head of the largest sheriff's department in the country.

He has set up summits to strategize on how to better serve the homeless and mentally ill and has tried for years to establish a tent city near County Jail for homeless people who have been released. He has said he doesn't believe that arresting the homeless for minor violations is the best way to solve the problem.

Police Chief William J. Bratton has adopted a tougher stance, saying he wants to root out "aberrant behavior" within the homeless population. He has conducted downtown sweeps looking for parole violators and vigorously enforced statutes prohibiting public urination and sleeping on public sidewalks.

Long an advocate of the "broken windows" method of policing, which holds that punishing lesser offenses leads to reductions in major crimes, Bratton targeted downtown's skid row as one of five proving grounds in the city for the theory.

The two men's differing takes on the problem derive from both their backgrounds and their constituencies.

Baca tends to deal with homeless people when they enter his jail system — and has often said fewer of them would be there if there were better services for the mentally disturbed and addicts. He speaks quixotically about the issue, hoping not only to reduce homelessness but to eliminate it entirely.

Bratton deals with homeless people on the street level and has to field the complaints from merchants and residents about crime and harassment — especially in increasingly gentrifying downtown. As top cop in New York and Boston, he gained a reputation for cleaning up blighted communities that had large homeless populations.

While the two men praise each other's accomplishments, they also tend to cast blame for some of skid row's problems in the opposite direction.

Bratton denounces what he calls "the sheriff's unwillingness or inability to return people to the communities from whence they came."

Many of those who prey on homeless people, he said, arrive on skid row directly from the sheriff's custody at County Jail. In addition, Bratton says the early release of inmates from county lockups has created a revolving door.

Baca, for his part, says he doesn't believe that arresting the homeless for minor infractions — which has swelled the already overcrowded jails — will make any dent in what he considers deeper societal problems.

"I'm not here to say that it's wrong," he said. "But I'm here to say it's definitely not the best way to solve homelessness."

Despite their different perspectives, the two men vow to work in tandem on the issue, even serving together on a blue-ribbon panel on the subject. But the commission is more than a year behind in issuing recommendations — and officials said they were unlikely to make their report before February.

That's not the only homeless initiative to stall. Baca created his own panel on homelessness two years ago. But none of its seven recommendations — including encouraging local governments to build more shelters in industrial areas and provide more medical and psychological services at shelters — has been achieved.

Some observers believe that for Los Angeles to effectively combat homelessness, officials must find a middle ground between the visions of Baca and Bratton: providing people with services that might get them off the street while also holding them accountable for their actions.

Without such a compromise, Los Angeles will continue its cycle of rotating the homeless through the justice system, only to have them hit skid row again with few prospects for something better, said Peter Dreier, director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.

"As long as you don't have an adequate supply of housing and social services for the homeless, they will be on the street," he said. "And the police will have to deal with them."

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:47:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 11:47:37 AM EDT by leo6223]
Giving people something for nothing is the whole reason we had such a problem in NOLA. The welfare state and people's willingness to give money to alcoholic crackheads is the core of the problem

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:49:12 AM EDT
Ehh, no one will like this answer....but first seperate out those who are down on their luck from the drunks, addicts, and mentally ill.

Get the first group into social services programs, and back on their feet.

The second group....well, lets just say....YOUTH IN ASIA...its not just young people in Japan....
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 11:54:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Ehh, no one will like this answer....but first seperate out those who are down on their luck from the drunks, addicts, and mentally ill.

Get the first group into social services programs, and back on their feet.

The second group....well, lets just say....YOUTH IN ASIA...its not just young people in Japan....


Yep, the solutions aren't pretty. The libs in CA think that making more shelters and services available helps the area but it does the exact opposite. The more they build, the more will come. I guess they could always send a caravan of buses to Mexico and send them our problems for a change. In fact, that sounds like a great idea.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 12:56:16 PM EDT
"As long as you don't have an adequate supply of housing and social services for the homeless, they will be on the street," he said. "And the police will have to deal with them."


Bull!! They are not "homeless". They are winos, junkies, mental defectives, and just plain bums. And some of them need to be institutionalized.

Don't give me the "homeless" line.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 12:57:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Ehh, no one will like this answer....but first seperate out those who are down on their luck from the drunks, addicts, and mentally ill.

Get the first group into social services programs, and back on their feet.

The second group....well, lets just say....YOUTH IN ASIA...its not just young people in Japan....



Tad extreme don't you think mein furor? How about making tent city jails instead and start throwing these numbnuts in there every time they do some petty crime...pretty soon they will move on to another location.

That's the key to community policing really. You never really end crime, but you can displace it. The more you displace it the less organized it is and the less it can grow. So you do in effect reduce it.

That and let's get rid of 99 percent of the social programs.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 1:03:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Ehh, no one will like this answer....but first seperate out those who are down on their luck from the drunks, addicts, and mentally ill.

Get the first group into social services programs, and back on their feet.

The second group....well, lets just say....YOUTH IN ASIA...its not just young people in Japan....



YOUTH IN ASIA= Target Practice
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 1:05:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leo6223:

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Ehh, no one will like this answer....but first seperate out those who are down on their luck from the drunks, addicts, and mentally ill.

Get the first group into social services programs, and back on their feet.

The second group....well, lets just say....YOUTH IN ASIA...its not just young people in Japan....



Tad extreme don't you think mein furor? How about making tent city jails instead and start throwing these numbnuts in there every time they do some petty crime...pretty soon they will move on to another location.

That's the key to community policing really. You never really end crime, but you can displace it. The more you displace it the less organized it is and the less it can grow. So you do in effect reduce it.

That and let's get rid of 99 percent of the social programs.



Yeah, its a bit extreme, but it solves the problem, right? Your solution, while more compassionate, just makes your problems someone elses...

Like I said, there is a large percentage of these people who are hopeless, and will never be anything more than a drain on society, never productive members of....Thats why I said seperate out the people who are down on their luck, or can lead real lives....

Its not a pretty solution, but it works....do some research back into the 20's and 30's when eugenics laws were passed in several US States, permitting and instituting sterilization of indigent mentally ill, chronic alcoholics, etc.

I'm not saying it will ever happen, lord knows this country is way too namby pampy to take the hard road...

The big problem occured in the 80's with the mass emptying of mental hospitals....
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 1:08:42 PM EDT
I don't think drugging everyone up and throwing them into TAX SPONSORED hospitals is the key either. More states' attorneys to prosecute the heavy case load. More tent city jails.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 1:09:16 PM EDT
Same way they do dogs.

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 1:19:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 1:19:44 PM EDT by Mall-Ninja]
How to police the homeless here in L.A.?



Hopefully with a lot more use of Maglite tactics...
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 1:41:38 PM EDT
One way bus ticket to San Francisco?
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 4:01:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
How to police the homeless here in L.A.?



Hopefully with a lot more use of Maglite tactics...



Hmm, Why do I think that if there was to be a "homeless man vs. maglite LAPD" incident there would be a moral uproar here? Seriously, what real solutions would you offer othan than "let's off them like dogs!"

A little bit nazi-over-the-top don't you think?

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