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Law Enforcement in Long Beach

August 06, 1992

In regard to the article titled "Long Beach Votes to Keep Its Own Police" (July 15):

I guess the decision of the City Council to not accept the Sheriff's Department contract proposal was a small one to them. The council would rather spend $11 million more of the taxpayers' money to have more "control" over the city's law enforcement. Doesn't having a contract mean you are the customer? Doesn't the customer control the terms, limits and execution of the contract? It's apparent how much "control" the City Council currently has with the Long Beach Police. When will they require the Long Beach Police Department to be as cost-effective, efficient and responsive as the Sheriff's Department?

I guess $11 million wouldn't help our homeless citizens sleeping in doorways. I guess $11 million wouldn't help my wife, a special-education teacher, from spending her own money on snacks, field trips and paper supplies for her students. I guess $11 million wouldn't help "beautify" the surrounding residential areas beyond Ocean Boulevard, where our streets, sidewalks and buildings are covered with trash and graffiti.

I guess the City Council felt the pressure of those attending the meeting was more important to them politically. I guess the Long Beach Police Department and the Sheriff's Department don't enforce the same laws. I guess the council needs more control more than we need $11 million for our homeless, our neighborhoods and our children. Eleven million dollars is still a lot of money to many people. I guess the City Council thinks it's small enough to be wasted.

JONATHAN W. ABELOVE

Long Beach

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