As far as Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates is concerned, the Pope is indeed a man of peace. Gates told reporters that bookings at police jails declined by 46% during the Pope's 47-hour visit to Los Angeles. Moreover, the chief pointed out, only one murder was recorded during the pontiff's visit. The city usually averages several homicides daily.
"There was a sense of calm that came to the city with the Pope," Gates said. "People had time to reflect on what life is all about, and maybe some felt there was more to life than committing crime."
Or maybe, he conceded, the number of bookings decreased because detectives, usually responsible for hundreds of arrests each day, were on routine patrol duties to replace street officers on papal security details.