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L.A. officers know locations

September 03, 2008

Re "Cops and movies: Who should call the shots?" Opinion, Aug. 28

I believe that one of Patt Morrison's assertions is fundamentally flawed: Retired LAPD officers do not work as security guards on movie sets. They do a lot more.

The retired LAPD officers I have worked with demonstrated an expertise about filming on location unsurpassed by any other U.S. law enforcement group. They have familiarity with neighborhoods and ever-changing filming guidelines that benefits both the production and the city of Los Angeles. Often these officers work as public relations ambassadors in oft-filmed neighborhoods by keeping the production in line and the residents in mind. They have developed a mastery of location production: lane closures, streets closures, running shots with traffic breaks, insert car work, stunts and whatever else it takes. These officers know how to keep the public safe while staying out of the camera's view.

Can off-duty active officers offer the same flexibility that retired officers do? Retired officers are able to work a 12- to 14-hour shift and not put the public in danger by having to report to active duty later in the same day. Aren't active-duty officers supposed to rest on their days off?

Retired LAPD officers are cost-effective. The new proposal will double if not triple the cost of each officer from hour one. How is this going to promote filming in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles, home to the motion picture and television industry, is losing jobs and tax revenues because of incentives given by other states and countries. The city needs to do whatever is necessary to keep filming a vibrant, hometown industry.

Veronique Vowell

Studio City

The writer is location manager on the television series "Cold Case."

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