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Mayor George Ray: Law Enforcement is a Priority in Cerritos

 


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Cerritos Mayor George Ray

By Cerritos Mayor George Ray

The safety of Cerritos residents is a top priority of the City of Cerritos. The community’s safe and welcoming environment is the result of the collaborative efforts of Cerritos residents, business partners, the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station/Community Safety Center and the City.

For the current fiscal year, the City has budgeted more than $14 million for the ongoing priority of law enforcement and safety services. The City contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station for an outstanding level of police services. Fifty-nine sworn Sheriff’s deputies, 16 professional staff and five reserve deputies provide law enforcement services for the City. Community Safety services are also provided by City staff. Seven full-time and 42 part-time Community Safety employees provide code enforcement, parking control and crossing guard services.

Cerritos has a long history of providing innovative law enforcement programs that enhance the quality, accessibility and availability of services to both residents and visitors. Cerritos was the first contract city to pioneer the local community station concept, which was a departure from the Sheriff’s regional station model. The Cerritos station was the first to host a local/regional fingerprint identification unit; a strategy that ensures recovered fingerprints are processed within 48 hours. Our station also was one of the first to incorporate the Mobile Digital Computer system for patrol cars, an innovation that increased response times. Additionally, the cities of Cerritos and Lakewood remain stewards of the world’s first helicopter patrol program known as Sky Knight.

Cerritos has always understood that a quality policing operation must be supplemented by community involvement to achieve the most effective crime prevention efforts. This involvement involves four crucial components. First, the City has adopted a comprehensive, long-term crime prevention approach through the ongoing development of outstanding youth-oriented programs. From tot lots to a myriad of sports leagues, youth-oriented self-enrichment classes, our three large parks and our smaller neighborhood parks, the City offers a remarkable array of year-round recreational programs for the youth of Cerritos. Many excellent enrichment programs and classes for youths are also offered at the Cerritos Library.

A second critical component in our crime reduction strategy is community partnerships. In a suburban city of nine square miles with about 15,000 homes and 200 miles of streets, deputies must be supported by community involvement for effective crime deterrence. The Sheriff’s Department informs our residents about trends in neighborhood crime through an active Neighborhood Watch Program. While our patrol deputies can respond rapidly to trouble, thousands of informed and involved residents can be much more effective in preventing crime from occurring in the first place. In addition, the Neighborhood Watch volunteers are supported by the Volunteers on Patrol program, which gives our Sheriff’s deputies extra “eyes and ears” in our neighborhoods.

A third component of our law enforcement program is the support of the Sheriff’s Department, which responds to crimes that have occurred and prevents additional crime from occurring. Sheriff’s command officers and supervisors, special assignment officers and detectives meet weekly to scrutinize crime maps and statistics. Spikes or clusters of crime are analyzed in order to detect patterns or trends and to develop reduction strategies.

The final component consists of soliciting input from the City’s Community Safety Committee members and from the public during regularly scheduled Towne Hall meetings.

Throughout the years, it has been well established that crime is a result of numerous social factors, and there appears to be no single approach or strategy to preventing crime. However, a commitment to our youth, the support of our residents in preventing neighborhood crime, and an efficient response to emerging crime problems are all critical components that can minimize crime. Through these efforts, we can achieve the safest Cerritos possible and continue to provide a secure living environment for our families.

If you aren’t already a member of Neighborhood Watch, please join and help make Cerritos even safer. For information, call the City’s Community Safety Division at (562) 916-1266. The Cerritos Sheriff’s Station is also seeking Volunteers on Patrol (VOPs). VOPs patrol the City in distinctly marked vehicles and assist with crime suppression, traffic control, vacation checks, special events and park security checks. They also train as first responders in the event of a major emergency or disaster. For information on becoming a VOP, contact the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station at (562) 860-0044.

Residents may also join the Virtual Block Club (VBC) to receive immediate BOLOs (Be on the Lookout) when appropriate, weekly crime summaries and maps, regular crime prevention tips, emergency preparedness training and homeland security training. To join the Virtual Block Club, please visit safercerritos.com and fill out and submit the on-line form. If you would like to learn more about crime in your neighborhood or receive customized crime alerts, please visit crimemapping.com.

For safety tips, I encourage you to visit the Safer Cerritos website located at safercerritos.com. The website offers links to crime prevention tips and videos, emergency preparedness information, vacation security check request forms and information about how you can become more involved in supporting public safety efforts.

I encourage Cerritos residents to contact me at City Hall at (562) 860-0311 or to send me an e-mail through the City’s website at cerritos.us and share your suggestions, concerns and questions. I am pleased to talk with Cerritos residents and work with you toward the betterment of our community.

 

 

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7 Responses to Mayor George Ray: Law Enforcement is a Priority in Cerritos

  1. Here we go again Reply

    August 5, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Mayor Ray,

    Your article, like most coming from the city, is misleading and empty.

    You mention, “Cerritos station was the first to host a local/regional fingerprint identification unit; a strategy that ensures recovered fingerprints are processed within 48 hours.” However, you don’t mention that there is so much crime in the city that we are paying a third party thousands every year to process finger prints because there is a backlog.

    You write that, “the City has budgeted more than $14 million for the ongoing priority of law enforcement and safety services.” You neglect to mention that that $14 million puts only a few patrol vehicles on our streets at any given time of the day or night. We have more for deputies staffing the substation than to patrolling our streets.

    You tell readers, “The Sheriff’s Department informs our residents about trends in neighborhood crime through an active Neighborhood Watch Program.” Yet, it is my understanding that Council members and council appointees are not active leaders in the neighborhood watch programs in their own neighborhoods.

    Most residents can see through your poor attempt to gloss of such a critical issue in a city with so much property crime. We know it because we or a close neighbor has been affected by a property crime.

    One question to you Mr. Mayor Ray is why does Cerritos not have a instant notification system for residents when a major crime or emergency occurs? A system that can text or email residents immediately when an attempted kidnapping occurs, when there is a water break, electrical outage, accident, street closure, police activity, or active shooter situation.

  2. Knabe Sheriff Reply

    July 30, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Cerritos Sheriff never arrested Councilman Bruce Barrows——–

    Jay Gray; Cerritos resident Jay Gray was involved in a incident with Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Barrows on Monday night.

    By Brian Hews
    Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows was involved in an incident Monday night that could land the veteran city councilman in legal hot water after he allegedly physically assaulted resident Jay Gray.

    Gray, who is on Tuesday’s ballot for a seat on the Central Basin Water Board of Directors told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in an exclusive interview Tuesday morning that Barrows “grabbed me” and “threw him” and “yanked at his jacket and neck tie” after the meeting to dispute Gray’s public comments he made about various city priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.
    Cerritos Councilman Bruce Barrows involved in alleged assualt on water board candidate

    Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows was involved in an incident Monday night that could land the veteran city councilman in legal hot water after he allegedly physically assaulted resident Jay Gray who is a candidate in Tuesday election for a local water board election.

    Gray said that Barrows “became enraged” after the meeting was over and confronted him inside the city council chambers. “He got right in my face, and wouldn’t stop his aggressive language,” Gray said.
    Gray, a resident of Cerritos for the past 40 years, then attempted to distance himself from Barrows and the councilman allegedly followed him outside the city council chambers and then apparently grabbed Gray by the arm and began pushing and shoving him while still yelling obscenities.

    “I was stunned,” Gray said.

    Gray then told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that he told Barrows he was going to the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department next door to city hall to file a formal complaint.

    Members of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Gray filed a report and that Barrows was interviewed by a Detective and confirmed the incident.

    Law enforcement also interviewed one additional witness, long time resident and city council critic Jim McMahon. McMahon told LCCN that he tried to “get Barrows to calm down,” but the heated exchange continued.

    Lt. Harpham with the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department said that an “incident” did take place involving Barrows and Gray, and that a “formal investigation has been launched, pending further review.”

    Harpham also confirmed that Barrows and Gray were both interviewed along with “one other witness.”

    “We are just beginning the investigation,” Harpham said.

    Barrows is the current President of the League of California Cities, Los Angeles Division. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper will have additional details as they become available on Tuesday.

    Calls into Barrows were not returned to Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.

    Harpham said that the case will turned over to the Los Angels County District Attorney’s Office “when we are done with our investigation.”

    Update: Tuesday, June 5 at 6:25 p.m.
    Los Cerritos Community Newspaper was given a copy of an email Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Barrows sent to a local on-line web site regarding the incident via his personal email account:

    “At the conclusion of our budget meeting, while I was walking back to City Hall a discussion with Jay Gray became heated with my walking away from him. Jay then followed me out of the building making a sexual comment about my wife. A report was filed separately by Jay and myself with the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station that is under investigation. We are hoping to have a decision from the D.A. tomorrow. I refer you to the contents of that report for the facts, which are substantially different from that reported by the Community News.”

  3. Cerritos Sheriff Judgment Reply

    July 30, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Sheriff’s Dept. Loses $23-Million Appeal
    Court: Appellate judges uphold award for incident in which deputies were accused of brutalizing party-goers.

    A state appellate court Tuesday upheld a $23-million judgment against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for a 1989 incident in Cerritos in which a group of deputies was accused of brutalizing 36 party-goers attending a bridal shower at the home of a Samoan American family.

    A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal, 2nd District, unanimously upheld the 1995 award, reportedly the largest against a U.S. law enforcement agency.

    “We are very, very happy and relieved that the appellate court saw it the same way as the judge in the underlying case,” said Garo Mardirossian, the lead attorney representing the 35 plaintiffs who will share the award. The 36th plaintiff has died since the suit was filed.

    Late Tuesday, the county counsel’s office issued a memo to the Board of Supervisors saying, “We plan to petition the California Supreme Court for a hearing.”

    The final decision on whether to proceed must be made by the Board of Supervisors, whose members were heading to Washington on a lobbying trip Tuesday. The case, which went to trial in February 1995 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, stemmed from a melee at a shower for Melinda Dole Paopao. Sheriff’s deputies, saying they had received a call about party-goers fighting in the street with sticks and knives, responded in force.

    Although deputies said that family members and friends greeted them by hurling rocks and bottles, a neighbor’s videotape–which jurors watched repeatedly–failed to validate the allegations. Criminal charges were quickly dropped against most of the 36 people arrested in the incident.

    David Dole, the most seriously injured, said that his hand was broken and that blows from batons and flashlights damaged his brain.

    Jurors in the civil case, who heard testimony from more than 80 witnesses, ruled that 25 deputies used excessive force and made false arrests when they responded to the incident wearing riot gear.

    Other guests allegedly attacked that day included Melinda’s sister, professional wrestler Emily “Mount Fiji” Dole, and Samoan tribal chief Fea Talamaivao. Orlanda Dole said she was kicked and beaten unconscious, leaving a trail of blood to her holding cell. A pregnant woman also was beaten, along with two elderly men and several other women, attorneys alleged.

    The Sheriff’s Department has yet to discipline any of the deputies involved in the melee.

    “There was substantial evidence at trial to show that the appellants did not arrest the plaintiffs based on particularized information or instructions . . . or based on their own observations showing that individual plaintiffs had committed crimes,” the judges wrote in their decision. “Substantial evidence supported the conclusion that the deputies simply entered the Dole house and arrested everyone in it, without individualized probable cause.”

    The judges noted: “Of the 36 individuals arrested, only eight were ever charged with crimes; three of those were acquitted, and charges were dismissed as to the others.”

    County officials Tuesday were trying to figure out how to pay the massive award. No decision has been made, said Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Sandra Davis.

    But she said the county could float a “judgment bond” to pay the cost without having to take too much cash out of the operating budget.

    “It’s not unusual; the city does it often,” Davis said. “But we haven’t done anything like that in a long, long time.”

    Such a move would require the supervisors’ approval. Davis also said the county could pay out of a Contract Cities Liability Trust Fund, which was set aside to pay such judgments.

    The Sheriff’s Department contracts with many smaller cities in Los Angeles County to provide them with law enforcement services, and the cities pay surcharges into the trust fund to help cover lawsuit damages against the Sheriff’s Department.

    Sheriff’s officials declined to discuss the matter.

    “The department hasn’t seen the decision yet, except for word of mouth,” said Deputy Bill Martin, a department spokesman. “It would be inappropriate to comment.”

    Several members of the Dole family held a tearful news conference Tuesday afternoon to express their relief and gratitude.

    “Thank god it’s over with,” Emily Dole said. “This goes to show that in the United States of America, justice does prevail.”

    She added: “Nine years is a long, long time. We can forgive, but we cannot forget.”

    The civil court jury originally awarded the plaintiffs $15.9 million in damages, including $3.8 million to David Dole, and the judge tacked on $2.3 million in fees. Dole’s father, Arthur, who had thrown the party for his daughter, was awarded $1 million.

    *

    The latest figure of $23 million includes the $5 million in interest that has accrued during the appellate period. That makes it nearly six times what the city of Los Angeles paid Rodney G. King to settle his federal lawsuit. For each year the county delays, it must pay 10% interest.

    “They should have resolved this case early on for a lot less cost and a lot less grief,” said Mardirossian, who worked with civil rights attorney Hugh R. Manes on the case. “Their tactic has been to delay. . . . They will be paying 10% interest as long as it takes.”

    He expressed frustration that none of the deputies have been disciplined in the case.

    “They have all been promoted or retired by choice,” Mardirossian said. “This is part of a pattern and practice of the Sheriff’s Department. This is not an isolated incident.”

  4. Here we go again Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Mayor Ray,

    Your article, like most coming from the city, is misleading and empty.

    You mention, “Cerritos station was the first to host a local/regional fingerprint identification unit; a strategy that ensures recovered fingerprints are processed within 48 hours.” However, you don’t mention that there is so much crime in the city that we are paying a third party thousands every year to process finger prints because there is a backlog.

    You write that, “the City has budgeted more than $14 million for the ongoing priority of law enforcement and safety services.” You neglect to mention that that $14 million puts only a few patrol vehicles on our streets at any given time of the day or night. We have more for deputies staffing the substation than to patrolling our streets.

    You tell readers, “The Sheriff’s Department informs our residents about trends in neighborhood crime through an active Neighborhood Watch Program.” Yet, it is my understanding that Council members and council appointees are not active leaders in the neighborhood watch programs in their own neighborhoods.

    Most residents can see through your poor attempt to gloss of such a critical issue in a city with so much property crime. We know it because we or a close neighbor has been affected by a property crime.

    One question to you Mr. Mayor Ray is why does Cerritos not have a instant notification system for residents when a major crime or emergency occurs? A system that can text or email residents immediately when an attempted kidnapping occurs, when there is a water break, electrical outage, accident, street closure, police activity, or active shooter situation.

  5. Penny Saver Rentals Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Will Cerritos be sued for violating the Communications Decency Act and the First Amendment? Seems like all 5 CCC passed ordinance to ban monthly rentals, now city will be sued. Seems like Cerritos policing has overstep its bounds again?

    Airbnb sues Anaheim over short-term rental ban

    An Airbnb host shows the view of the Airbnb mobile app.
    ,
    ANAHEIM – Airbnb retaliated with a lawsuit against Anaheim Thursday less than a month after the City Council banned short-term rentals and said home-sharing web sites would be fined for illegal listings.

    Airbnb’s suit says the city is violating the Communications Decency Act and the First Amendment. The lawsuit is the latest for the popular online platform, which filed legal actions this summer against San Francisco and New York for similar reasons.

    Anaheim’s City Council on July 12 gave the 363 permitted short-term rental operators in town 18-months to stop operating.

    But the lawsuit targets the stricter regulations the council adopted in the meantime to limit the impact of the rentals on the community. Come mid-August, Anaheim will require hosting platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway to remove listings the city has not permitted or face fines starting at $500 for each violation that could reach $2,000.

    “Federal law clearly prohibits state or local governments from imposing this requirement,” a letter Airbnb officials sent to operators Thursday says. “That’s why we filed a lawsuit today in federal court challenging Anaheim’s ordinance.”

    Airbnb says it is protected by the 1996 Communications Decency Act that prohibits states and local governments from holding websites liable for content and actions by users who post on their online platforms. The ordinance, Airbnb says, also violates the company’s First Amendment rights: “it is a content-based restriction on speech, in the form of rental listings.”

    “Airbnb fights economic inequality and brings real economic benefits to people and communities,” Alison Schumer, an Airbnb spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We want to keep working with governments to craft rules that work, but the city of Anaheim quickly banned this economic lifeline and created regulations that violate federal law

    “This is not the approach we wanted to take,” she said, “but we believe it’s the best way to protect our community of hosts and guests.”

    An Anaheim spokeswoman said the city could not comment on pending litigation.

    Anaheim is the most recent battleground in a fight between cities, residents and operators over the influx and popularity of the “sharing-economy” and short-term rentals.

    With 20 million annual visitors, many to Disneyland, Anaheim has become a popular place for out-of-towners using short-term rentals as an alternative to traditional hotels to shave costs off vacations.

    Residents have flooded City Hall complaining the vacationers could care less about quiet neighbors, hold rowdy all-night parties, leave trash on the streets and fill up parking spaces.

    Short-term operators argue they fix up neglected properties, raise property values and contribute millions in much needed taxes to the city’s coffers.

    Airbnb‘s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, asks the court to kick the penalties against the home-sharing website and for the city to pay the legal fees.

  6. Sheriff Double Dipping Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    CERRITOS- SURE THIS IS DUPLICATED IN THIS CITY TOO:

    Class-action suit filed against Long Beach over stings targeting gay men

    Rory Moroney is now the lead plaintiff in a federal class-action lawsuit brought against the city of Long Beach over allegations that the Police Department unfairly targeted gay men during lewd conduct stings. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

    James Queally James QueallyContact Reporter

    The attorney who successfully argued that the Long Beach Police Department unfairly targeted gay men when conducting lewd conduct stings earlier this year has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the city, claiming hundreds of other men were victims of discriminatory policing.

    Bruce Nickerson filed the 18-page suit in federal court Thursday, naming the city, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna and several officers from the department’s vice unit as defendants.

    In April, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overturned the 2014 arrest of Rory Moroney on suspicion of lewd conduct, saying the department was engaged in discriminatory policing because its vice unit only used undercover men to arrest male suspects who were seeking sex with other men. The same tactics were not used against women, according to Judge Halim Dhanidina.

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    Moroney was accused of exposing himself to an undercover officer inside of a bathroom known to be a hot spot for “gay cruising.” The 50-year-old Long Beach resident contended he was only reacting to the officer’s flirtation, and the judge agreed.

    Moroney is now named as the lead plaintiff in the class-action suit. At least two dozen other men were arrested by Long Beach police under similar circumstances in 2013 and 2014, court records show. In the suit, Nickerson said the plaintiff class could grow to include “hundreds of men who have been illegally arrested for violations of California law by the LBPD.”

    The handsome undercover cop smiles. Is he entrapping gay men or cleaning up a park?
    The handsome undercover cop smiles. Is he entrapping gay men or cleaning up a park?
    Calls to the Long Beach city attorney’s office seeking comment were not immediately returned.

    The suit asks the court to declare the conduct of Long Beach’s vice unit to be a violation of the 4th Amendment, which protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection. The suit also seeks monetary damages.

    The ruling in Moroney’s case was met with celebration and surprise by LGBT activists around Southern California, many of whom were stunned to hear Long Beach was using a policing tactic that has been shunned by many other departments throughout the state. The city is home to a vibrant LGBT community, and Mayor Robert Garcia is openly gay.

    Garcia previously told the Los Angeles Times that he was unaware the Police Department was conducting lewd conduct stings, and has said the practice stopped after Moroney’s arrest was overturned. Garcia said he and Luna have met with LGBT leaders in recent weeks to discuss new approaches to enforcing lewd conduct laws and the city plans to roll out a new policy later this year.

    “I view Long Beach as a progressive place that believes in justice and dignity for everybody,” Garcia told The Times in April. “So when I hear that something occurs that could be contrary to that, I’m alarmed.”

  7. Big Rigs Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Mr. George Ray:

    Where is the transparency, why isnt the sheriffs Community Safety Committee, not being televised, compared to the other commission hearings. Mr. Ray, why isnt the city advertising in both Newspapers, why only the republican newspaper, which was cited for filing wrongful criminal actions against the teacher?

    Mr . Ray, you seem like you favor the orthodox ways of old Republican club, very selective in its discipline.

    Why not have email contacts to all of the commissioners, council and committee members, so the 50,000 residents in this city, can be direct contact with each elected person?

    Community Safety Committee

    This committee educates, informs and provides assistance to the community with regard to public safety issues. Responsibilities of the committee include acting as advisors to the City Council in matters related to crime prevention, traffic and pedestrian safety. The committee also supports and promotes crime-prevention awareness throughout the community through programs such as Neighborhood Watch. Members of the Community Safety Committee are appointed by the City Council. Members are: Christopher Cuff (Chairperson), Donald Brown (Vice-Chairperson), Larry Constantino, Tim Coomes, Martin Flax, Victor Gau, Gordon Hom, Pat Patnaik, Beverly Porter and Srinivasa Reddy. The committee meets on the third Wednesday of every other month. For meeting times and locations, call the Community Safety Division at (562) 916-1266.

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