As the Los Angeles City Council prepares to debate a new Police Department policy that ended responses to unverified burglar alarms, LAPD officials released statistics Friday showing that the areas of the city with the greatest number of alarm calls have the least amount of violent crime.
In December, neighborhoods in West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley had 9,394 burglary alarm calls and 1,140 violent crimes, while the central and southern portions of the city had 4,501 alarm calls and 1,525 violent crimes, according to the Police Commission.
However, the figures also show that the western and northern areas of the city had 1,010 burglaries in December, compared with 638 in southern and central Los Angeles.
Although the statistics are for one month, Lt. Debra Kirk of the Police Commission's investigations division said they seem to indicate that police patrols are being diverted away from areas with violent crime to respond to alarm calls. The LAPD estimates that 15% of patrol time is spent responding to burglar alarms, 92% of which are false alarms.