Whenever you’re on the hot seat, just blame “gangs”


Here they come!




We knew it wouldn’t last. Burbank’s back to blaming the minorities again for its troubles:

Burbank police boost gang-enforcement efforts after concerns over jump in graffiti, violence

Four Burbank police officers will take on gang-enforcement duties in the coming months in response to community concerns about a recent uptick in gang graffiti, as well as a flurry of gang violence.

Due to staffing shortages, the agency hasn’t had gang officers for two years, which drew criticism from residents as police, over several months starting late last year, investigated a series of gang-related stabbings and shootings.

Before May 2014, the agency consistently staffed a gang sergeant and gang detective, while the number of officers would fluctuate depending on resources and crime trends. Since then, one detective in the vice/narcotics unit has been assigned to investigate gang crime.

“I think that’s an excellent first step to solving this problem,” Burbank resident Laura McKinney said of the proposal. “If the police department doesn’t have resources to follow up on what’s being reported to them, it’s going to take a lot longer and it’s going to be a lot harder to stop it.”

White people as gang experts are always so fun to listen to. Too bad we don’t have those new Syrians in here yet — they could worry about them as well.

Over the last year, the 12-year resident noticed an increase in graffiti, seeing tagging on buildings, in freeway construction zones and on slides in a city park. Police logged more gang graffiti reports through April of this year than in all of last year, according to statistics released by the agency.

“Once I started to notice it, it’s just everywhere it seems,” said McKinney, who has a 3-year-old daughter. “I don’t want her to grow up and think it’s normal to see graffiti and have gang violence.”

Since when is graffiti necessarily gang related? A lot of these “reports” are also due to the block-by-block paranoia being actively inspired by that charmingly named web site called “Nextdoor.”  You should see some of the yenta-work going on there lately.

Gang crime in Burbank reached its lowest point in recent years in 2014, with 73 gang-related crimes, down from 148 in 2011. The statistics include violent and property crimes, as well as gang graffiti.

Last year, police reported 89 gang-related crimes, nearly half of which involved graffiti.

So graffiti’s your idea of a “crime,” eh Burbank? You’re pretty lucky then. No wonder these numbers seem inflated. That’s because they are.

According to Burbank Police Lt. JJ Puglisi, these statistics are inflated, as some crimes — including last year’s homicide on Richard Street — involved gang members but were not motivated by gang affiliations.

Even so, officers tasked with making consistent contact with gang members and associates are able to build intelligence that comes into play when serious crimes do occur, as historically, victims and witnesses of gang violence are hesitant to talk to police.

“You have people that have a knowledge base of who drives what car, or who dates what girl, and you can make connections, and you’re able to develop leads that you wouldn’t have without having had that detail in place,” Puglisi said at a Burbank Police Commission meeting last week.

Why restrict this information gathering to just “gangs” then? Let’s get a pre-emptive background database on everyone.

One commissioner questioned the allocation of resources, as gang crime makes up a small fraction of total crime in the city.

“I just don’t see it in the numbers,” said Commissioner Mark Reyna. “I’m more concerned about traffic in the city than gang crimes.”

Others, however, felt the staffing proposal was warranted.

“One murder by a gang member is enough to have a task force,” said Commissioner David Diamond.

Remember, he’s the “liberal.”

Welcome back to the 1990s, Burbank. Maybe we should also start hardening up on those mandatory school uniform policies while we’re at it. They said it worked last time. Those rules at least calmed down management — because there’s nothing more worrisome than seeing Burbank kids with all that gang wear from Sears.

Here’s a better idea: why not just have the Burbank police patrol the city more? That seems to be much of the problem here with this kind of property crime. Not Mexicans and Armenians again. And if you’re really concerned about a growing crime rate, why do you then want to always bring more and more people into your attractions?

You can’t have it both ways. Big growth means big growth — in everything. Think about that when you’re voting for their big new airport, Burbank.







Filed under Uncategorized

7 responses to “Whenever you’re on the hot seat, just blame “gangs”

  1. Anonymous 3

    OK, whom do you mean by “Burbank”?

    There is a strong opinion by the residents of Burbank that gang activity is up.

    • semichorus

      Based upon what…

      The traditional neighborhood fear-mongering of Burbank white people? Some things never change.

      This automatic presumption that a supposed increase in graffiti and property crimes in Burbank is the result of “gang activity” is pretty racist.

      I don’t blame the police on this one. They’re realistically playing down the influence. I blame some of these neighbors.

  2. Anonymous

    Starting with park police would be a good first step, and hiring officers to increase patrol presence throughout the city, particularly in neighborhoods would go a long way in reducing crime. The number of home invasions and burglaries is frightening.

    • Craig

      Good Going, Anonymous.
      The Park Patrol was run out of money early by overtime.
      The Boyz, as some of you call them (BPOA) , don’t get it that the priority
      should be more officers on the street.
      Emails don’t answer 911 phone calls.

  3. Citizen Cane

    Until you are a home owner, property owner, or business owner, you don’t know the damage gangs can do economically to an area. When tenants call and complain about graffiti in the parking areas, alleys, and walls, it costs money to paint over. Also, prospective tenants who see graffiti, may not rent because of what they see. We all have seen graffiti in LA County on everything. The costs to the local cities is in the millions. I support a gang unit and I am mad the BPD has not had one.

    • semichorus

      You have no idea that this is the result of “gangs.” The police don’t think so, and they’d be the FIRST ones to try to lay the blame.

      Big growth = more crime and trouble. No other way it can be, and scapegoating minorities isn’t going to work any more. I’m glad to see the BPD refusing to do it.

      • James

        Question is Semichorus, do you believe things just because the police say so ? The police have said lots of things that proved to not be so in Burbank. Police say not much gang activity snd crime in Burbank ? Not so sure they are telling the truth here.

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