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Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Sheriff’s Captain Reed Talks Coffee, Cameras and ‘Broken Windows’
As with many coffee klatches, the hottest topic at the Coffee Gallery in Altadena last night was movies. But not favorite flicks or favorite stars. It was neighbors hosting film shoots, and film companies taking over neighborhoods.
The Altadena Sheriff’s Station and Captain Christopher Reed held a “Coffee with the Captain” meeting last night and while movies took over a lot of the conversation, Captain Reed and four deputies handled subjects as varied as new deployments, horse and foot patrols and policing policy.
A number of residents spoke out against both film companies and local homeowners being good neighbors and honoring the specifics of film permits by the LA Film Office. Reed assured the neighbors that local sheriff’s deputies are aware of the pitfalls of neighborhood shooting, but also emphasized that in a busy filming community like Altadena, it’s the responsibility of film companies to enforce matters like parking violations and the like.
Captain Reed also announced a new deployment strategy in the area with regard to deputies. As he explained, the department formerly deployed three two-person teams on the night and swing shifts. Now, there is one two-person car and four one-person cars, putting a total of five cars out on the street.
Speaking of cars, the Altadena Sheriff’s Station also deploys two Ford Explorers as part of the patrol fleet (through a grant from Supervisor Mike Antonovich) that feature 360-degree license plate readers, allowing the vehicles to automatically view, read and enter every license plate of every car they pass on the road.
“Big Brother is definitely here,” Captain Reed joked.
Reed also discussed the idea of “Broken Window” policing, which is reacting to every small violation, in order to prevent more serious violations. Former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton was a strong proponent of this type of law enforcement.
“But,” said Captain Reed, “Ever since Ferguson and Baltimore, a lot of cops have decided they’re going to shut it down, it’s something called ‘de-policing,’ which I had never heard of. and which is something Sheriff (Jim) McDonnell does not favor, obviously.
“So, even though our crime is down,” he continued, “believe it or not our arrests are up, and to be honest with you, they are for more minor offenses. That term “de-policing is something I don’t want to see here. I tell our officers, ‘Be the kind of officer you want patrolling your neighborhood when your wife, parents or husband is home alone.’”
“We don’t want to go overboard, but if you’re a known gang member, and your tail light is out, my deputies are going to talk to you.”
In addition, the Sheriff’s Station recently began bike and foot patrols on Lake and Lincoln Avenues, and said Reed, those will be continued at least once a month. The Sheriff’s office also utilizes a mounted horse patrol when necessary.
Finally, asked about the things that community members could do to make Sheriff’s deputies jobs easier, the officers all agreed, “Call right away.”
“Don’t wait until the suspicious person you’re watching walks out of a house with a TV set,” said Captain Reed.