LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck Friday to announce the Community Safety Partnership to combat violent crime in South Los Angeles.
The news conference was held at Jackie Tatum Harvard Park in South L.A.
“This is so important because we’ve been waiting a long time. There’s been a lot of violence in the area. Our kids are worried about their safety,” Janet Kelly said.
The mayor said he was ready to help and admitted that crime has gone up.
“The seven months of 2015 to the end saw a huge jump in crime. The last seven months of 2016 saw no increase in crime. The first two months of this year, unlike last year, we saw a 36-percent increase. We have a five-percent reduction in violent crime and one-percent reduction overall crime,” the mayor said.
Garcetti did not hold his annual news conference releasing the 2016 crime statistics. Some suspect it’s because he’s up for re-election Tuesday.
He said he did release the crime stats on Dec. 31 but did not hold the news conference. However, he said he is willing to talk to anyone about the subject.
At the news conference, KNX1070 NEWSRADIO reporter Claudia Peschiutta tried to get a direct answer from the mayor and police chief.
“I will say over and over again because I think that’s where the criticism is. I own crime. I own when crime rates go up. That is my responsibility. I also own the response. I’m proud of the response we’ve made,” he explained.
The mayor and the LAPD said they believed adding 11 officers to patrol South L.A. will make a difference.
“We want policing. We want police that we have a relationship with. We want to have accountability to the police. We want the police to have accountability to us,” Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said.