The other night, while driving to my loft down Second Street past Alameda, I nearly ran over 10 people. Twenty or 30 people were milling around the middle of the street, all part of a film crew.
In my neighborhood the very term, film crew, can invoke a good half-hour of cursing and swearing. They block traffic, take up all the parking and are very noisy at odd hours. Perhaps the most damning issue is that, more often than not, they are making bad movies, television, commercials or videos.
Then I opened up the morning paper (Feb. 12) to find retired officer Jerry Wolf claiming that a private guard, making at least one-third the money he is making, could not control the traffic as well as he could.
Maybe Wolf was not on Second Street that night, but there were two men in police uniforms sitting on their motorbikes chit-chatting with women on the set. There was nobody controlling traffic and most of all, nobody controlling the crew.
I, or anybody familiar with downtown, can tell you that this is not an uncommon occurrence. I was glad to hear that Police Chief Daryl Gates was not responsible for these officers' actions, or inactions, as the case may be. I do hope that the Police Commission will soon enable Gates to have some authority over the film crew cops. Perhaps this will increase their usefulness.