City council fails to veto LA non-response

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Thursday, February 6, 2003

February 6, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles police department is poised to implement a controversial non-response policy in early April after a Feb. 4 vote of the Los Angeles City Council failed to garner enough votes to veto the policy.

This was the second time in two weeks that the city council held a vote on vetoing the policy.

On Jan. 28, the council narrowly missed vetoing the policy by two votes. Eight council members voted in favor of vetoing the policy that was approved by the police commission in January, two votes short of the ten required by the city council to uphold a veto. The Feb. 4 vote also fell short of the necessary 10 votes, with eight members once again voting to veto the policy.

Despite the majority vote of the council, police are now free to begin to implement the policy, a process which police say will take 60 days from the date of last vote.

Les Gold, an attorney representing the industry, said that representatives from the industry have begun discussions regarding a possible challenge to the new policy.

“Now we’ll be able to test whether or not they effectively can do what they’re doing,” said Gold. “It’s a long way from being over.”

If it were implemented, under the new policy police would respond to a burglar alarm only if an eyewitness or video had verified the alarm.

The policy would not apply to human-activated panic alarms and burglar alarms at the city’s gun shops. Additionally, all municipal buildings and the homes and offices of high-ranking city officials, including members of the city council and the mayor, would be exempt from the non-response policy.

“Effectively they can have all the false alarms they want,” said Gold. “The position that (the police) have taken is that essentially that these people are in a high risk situation and they should be given special treatment.”