Drug Dealers: 3 / LAPD: 0

I’m going to start a running count of the number of times that I’ve called 1-800-ASKLAPD to report a drug deal or prostitution and, despite assurances from the dispatcher, nobody has ever arrived. At all. Not, like, they showed up 30 minutes later. I call, nobody ever shows. Or sometimes, I’ll call and then I’ll see a cruiser pass by on Beverly five or ten minutes later, but nobody ever shows. And I only live five blocks or so from the Rampart police station. Since I only remember whether or not I received a response the last two times in a row, plus last night, we’ll start the count at three. (I’ll let the failure to respond to shelf-rattling music and a raging, open bonfire in the front lawn of my neighbor’s house at two in the morning on Christmas Eve slide, since that’s a noise complaint and not a crime in progress).

I realize that if it’s an ongoing problem I need to call the Senior Lead Officer for my area or call and ask about Neighborhood Watch, and I’m planning on doing that. But I think it’s pretty terrible that you can’t just call the police about a crime and expect a response. And I’m not talking about some crazy busy Saturday night. I’ve called before on a Sunday afternoon and had no luck. I guess they’re too busy doing things like handing out tickets to people who enter the crosswalk at Sunset/Vine after the hand starts flashing. Way to rock, LAPD! You’re doing a great job of disproving all those stereotypes!

10 thoughts on “Drug Dealers: 3 / LAPD: 0”

  1. I have found that when there is an ongoing problem (drug dealing, prostituion) the best thing to do is to call the station and actually talk to a person there who will follwow up. Once you have someone you have a relationsip with ….even though it may be tenuous and on the phone…you are more likely to get a response. I used to have a business in Hollywood on Santa Monica and it took having a meeting with the block captain at the site to get response time racheted up. It did work, but it took a lot of effort on the part of ALL the tenants in the building participating. Good Luck!

  2. Thanks Tammara.

    >I used to have a business in Hollywood on Santa Monica and it took having a meeting with the block captain at the site to get response time racheted up.

    That’s exactly what I mean. I think it’s sickening that, when there’s a crime, you can’t just call the cops. And nobody seems to mind! Everybody’s always like, “Oh, to get the cops to really respond you need to do this and this.” Doesn’t that seem wrong to anybody else? What if the Fire Dept only came once you’d called and developed a relationship with your block captain? I don’t think people should be so comfortable with this sort of response.

  3. I know I sound like a borken record about this gun thing but this is exactly what I’m taking about. If there was no crime in Los Angeles, and anytime you needed a police officer there was one one hand to help then it would at least be reasonable that people wouldn’t be in a situation where they might have to defend themselves but when the situation is clearly far from that, when even after called because of reported crimes cops don’t show up it’s insane that law abiding citizens who either live in, work in, or have to travel in higher crime areas are prohibited from protecting themselves. The Supreme Court just rulled that LEOs are not even required to enforce restraining orders ( http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-278.ZS.html ) so even if you’ve proven someone is a threat to you you can’t expect the police to protect you from that person. There’s a lot of things people shouldn’t be so comfortable with.

  4. Yes…it’s upsetting…and I’m concerned about it…I guess as your experience (and mine) shows….you won’t get a response to a crime in progress unless it’s violent. So to solve it in your neighborhood….by making a relationship with the precinct is the way to go. I CAN say that the one time I called 911 about a break-in in progress they were there in 8 minutes…which is great. Prostitution and drug dealing are low on the totem pole of crime…even though they erode the fabric of a neighborhood….and I assume the cops prioritize crime response. It’s an ugly problem….any law enforcement types out there have any answers?
    And Sean….I dunno, a gun doesn’t seem to be the answer….

  5. On the other hand, if you think you see a g*n in the hands of the bad people and let the p.d. know, they are highly likely to send a number of cars and officers at high speed.

  6. Hey 5000. Where do you live? Five blocks or so from the Rampart station in every direction is a bit sketchy!

  7. >What happens if you call 911?

    Out of respect for people with possibly life-threatening emergencies, I’ve never called 911. I suppose if I’m witnessing a crime in progress, I should use 911 instead.

    Which brings up another point. Sometimes the dispatcher will tell me that they can’t do anything until I see the transaction taking place, despite the fact that it’s the same people doing the same thing that I’ve called about repeatedly in the past. So I’m supposed to wait for the drug dealer to pull up in his car and exchange money/drugs with with the guy in the green convertible├│at which point both parties, still in their cars, drive away├│before I call the cops. And then the cops, when they do come, arrive 20 minutes later. They’ve really got these drug dealers outsmarted, huh?

    >Hey 5000. Where do you live?

    Basically at Beverly and Alvarado.

    >Five blocks or so from the
    >Rampart station in every direction is a bit sketchy!

    Ha ha ha. That’s what I thought before we bought the house, but you’d be surprised. It’s actually a pretty quiet working-class neighborhood. I feel more like I live in a community over here than I did at my old place.

    If you want a real eye opening experience, go to homes.com and compare zip codes of places you think are sketchy with places you think are nice. Here’s my hood compared to my old neighborhood at La Brea/Melrose:


    Total Crime Index for 90026 (HiFi): 185
    Total Crime Index for 90046 (WeHo-ish): 249

    90036 (Miracle Mile) is even higher, at 267.

  8. >And Sean….I dunno, a gun doesn’t seem to be the answer….

    nonono.. I’m not saying a gun is the answer, in no way am I saying that. Certainly a gun isn’t the answer for someone selling drugs on your block.

    My point was that when honest people can’t get the cops to come and take care of crime they are witnessing on their own streets, how can they depend on the cops to stop them from getting mugged in a dark parking lot or something like that, and the answer is that they can’t. They can certainly call the police after the fact but the chances of the police being around when you need them is quite slim. If people were allowed, after a background check and basic training, to carry weapons then there’s two new options here, either if they were assaulted and the police weren’t around they might be able to defend themsleves and prevent an attack on their own, or even better yet, the criminals would know that they aren’t the only ones with the guns and might not be so quick to go after people.

    Seriously, if you are a criminal and you want to rob someone do you go to the neighborhood where there’s police on ever corner, or the one where the cops don’t come when they are called? The same goes for gun ownership, if you have the choice of robbing someone who might have a gun or someone who definitely does not have a gun, which one do you choose? I just think it’s pretty sad that honest law abiding citizens here in Los Angeles are sitting ducks most of the time.

  9. i think my precinct sucks more than yours. (hollenbeck) the cops used to tell me “um…we’re actually busy with things like STABBINGS” and hang up on me. when i went down to the station they were even MORE rude to me. they also told some guy in front of me that “a restraining order is not a fucking magic shield” and that some guy was still going to be able to come after him. then one night i saw them drag a dead body out of the back yard of an abandoned house and i called to ask them what was going on. LIES. LIES. LIES. (there was a reported break in. uh a pursuit ended there. there was no crime) ugh.
    I SWEAR calling the lead officer is the only thing that worked. he actually answers his cellphone and responds right away.
    Oh and about 911…once I called because some homeless guys set a dumpster on fire and the building next to it caught fire. i was on hold for 19 minutes and then they kept asking me what city it was in because they couldn’t find it on the map. they couldn’t find BROADWAY. ugh.

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