L.A. City Council fails to veto non-response policy

Thursday, January 30, 2003

January 30, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles police department moved one step closer to implementing a controversial non-response policy when the city council failed to secure enough votes to overturn 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 had been approved by the police commission earlier this month. Since the city charter requires 10 votes to uphold a veto, the policy will not be vetoed, despite the eight to six majority vote of the council. The council is scheduled to address the issue again next week, where it is possible that another vote to veto the policy will take place.

If that veto attempt were also unsuccessful, the police department would then be free to implement the policy in as soon as 60 days.

If the non-response policy were implemented, 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. Those alarms would still elicit a police response.

According to Les Gold, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing the industry, the alarm industry is still actively opposing the non-response policy, but does not have a specific course of action in place yet.

“ We’re still trying to decide what we want to do,” he said.

Jerry Lenander, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association said that the police developed this policy without the input of the industry.

“ Frankly, we were not allowed to be involved,” Lenander said. “We didn’t hear about (the policy) until they adopted it.”