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11/24/2009: "LA's New Top Cop to Work with Cyclists?"
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and others met recently with the Los Angeles Police Department's new chief, Charlie Beck, to ask for the LAPD's help in backing off road ragers, bike thieves, and other social ills besetting the city's growing number of urban cyclists. While the LAPD has not, historically, been a friend to cyclists, Chief Beck's responses indicate that that may now change radically. Aurisah Smolarski of the LACBC reports:
LACBC, folks from Echo Park Cycles and other cyclists showed up to the meet and greet with Chief Charlie Beck on Saturday where we alerted him that physical assaults on cyclists, harassment by motorists and bicycle thefts have been increasing in LA.

Chief Beck is interested in addressing these issues seriously and has assigned Lieutenant Andre Dawson, as the bicycle liaison in his office to work with us on addressing these concerns.

LAPD will be putting together a work group to continue to work with cyclists on addressing these issues. LACBC will also continue to work with them to develop educational material that all their officers will be required to view during their roll call and training.
Here is what you can do now!

Report all assaults, thefts or acts of harassment, regardless of how minor they are. It is an initial step that we can do now, to help them track and identify where these problems are happening and to help them identify suspects.

  • Call in and report incident to LAPD precinct in area of occurrence
  • If you are assaulted: give as much info as possible regarding suspect, license plate, color of car, clothing they were wearing, etc
  • If your bike was stolen: give then as much info about the bike, serial #, color of bike, make/model, suspect info, etc

If the officer refuses to take the report or says that they do not have time, that it is not a crime or any other excuse, call Lieutenant Andre Dawson at 213-792-3551 and explain the situation to him.

He has assured us that he will make sure to take care of it and hold the officers accountable for what is happening in the area.
A litte more even-handed treatment of cyclists here at Ground Zero of Carmageddon could go a long way towards making Los Angeles something other than a traffic sump...such as perhaps a real, livable, lovable city.

I could live with that!

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