Although they were both invited, Chick and Ridley-Thomas said they had not been briefed on the contents of the mayor's program before the news conference. Ridley-Thomas said that was part of the reason, along with scheduling problems, he did not attend.
When a reporter explained the program to Chick, she noted that the city has already launched a "Safe Parks" program that increases police patrols in the 71 most crime-plagued parks in the city.
"It has been my impression that all of these things have been in place for a while," she said. Still, Chick said she supports any effort to improve safety at parks and other public areas.
"I think this is ongoing normal protocol, and I support it," she added.
Ridley-Thomas said he supports Riordan's program but noted that it was the council that launched the Safe Parks program two years ago. "It looks like the mayor finally got religion," he said.
A Riordan spokeswoman defended the program, saying it spends additional money in the parks and the recreation programs that would not have otherwise been spent.
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Violent Crimes in L.A.
Violent crimes in Los Angeles have increased nearly 9% this year and homicides are 24% higher compared with the same period last year. Gang-related homicides in the city are up 116% over the same period last year.
Note: Dates for latest figures vary because of the method the LAPD uses to compile data.