18 Jun LA Metro Board Considering Changes To Policing Policies – C…
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Several members of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors filed a motion on Thursday to have unarmed officials respond to incidents instead of armed law enforcement.
The motion — which is co-sponsored by L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin and county supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis — urges the Metro to develop policies that involve different responses to nonviolent crimes and other issues.
“Around the country and all over Los Angeles, people are re-imagining how to provide public safety,” Bonin said. “Metro needs to be at the forefront of that and make changes that assure that all of its passengers feel safe. That starts by acknowledging that we cannot rely on an armed police presence for every issue and we need smarter, more effective solutions.”
Possible alternate solutions might include a transit ambassador program that provides staff presence at Metro facilities and on Metro transportation. Social workers, mediators, or mental health professionals may also be part of the plan.
Bonin also cited a motion filed earlier this week by members of the L.A. city council calling for unarmed crisis response teams to replace police officers for nonviolent, non-criminal calls — such as homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse issues.
The councilman and his colleagues also proposed creating a L.A. office of violence prevention, which would direct the Metro to develop new policies and approaches to communicating with passengers.
He said it is “crucial” for the Metro to make changes, given the history of complaints of racist policy, especially from younger Black and Latino people.
“For years, Metro has heard that its system of policing was making huge segments of its passengers feel less safe and feel threatened,” he said. “This is our moment to change that.”
Bonin is also set to submit motions regarding the Metro’s suspension of passenger service on May 30, which left passengers stranded in the middle of a countywide curfew, and another decision the same day to allow Metro buses to be used to transport detainees who had been arrested for curfew violation.
The motions seek to prohibit the use of any Metro vehicle for detainee transport and develop new protocol for the suspension of service.
All three motions are expected to be considered by the full board of directors on June 25.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)