It’s getting harder to get public information from the local Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Pacific Community Police Station these days.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a Community Alert the local police station posted on the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa del Rey Web site.
An LAPD Community Alert is posted when the police department is searching for a suspect or suspects involved in a recent local crime.
The Argonaut has always published such alerts issued by the LAPD to alert our readers so that they might help the LAPD find the suspects being sought.
Because The Argonaut distributes 42,000 copies of the paper in the immediate area each week, such exposure for the LAPD is extremely beneficial — or so one would think.
The LAPD used to automatically fax The Argonaut a Community Alert and digital images of artist composites of suspects.
However, the LAPD Pacific Area Community Police Station has suddenly dropped The Argonaut from its local network.
Not only does The Argonaut no longer receive such Community Alerts, what’s even more unbelievable is that when we call the LAPD Pacific Community Police Station in an attempt to get a copy of a recent Community Alert and an artist’s composite, we can’t find any LAPD officials or staff at Pacific Station willing to respond.
Frankly, we’re shocked.
One would think that having 50,000 or 60,000 people helping look out for wanted suspects would make the lives of LAPD detectives easier.
When we finally were able to get through to LAPD officers, lieutenants, detectives and staff at LAPD Pacific Area Community Station, none had an answer as to why The Argonaut no longer receives such alerts.
Furthermore, when we asked for a copy of the Community Alert to be sent to us at the paper, the response was always the same:
“Let me transfer you toÖ.”
It was one phone transfer after another.
If we were lucky, someone on the other line would say, “The person you need to speak with is off today.”
Other times we were left with a glimmer of hope when we reached a voicemail.
However, after at least five messages left at the police station without one returned phone call back, we began to see a trend.
There’s a big difference in how police departments respond to the public and media.
The Santa Monica Police Department calls us and regularly sends us bulletins and alerts when the police department wants the public’s help in finding criminals in Santa Monica.
The response at LAPD:
Nobody seems to care anymore.