Yeah, yeah, yeah, "safer than the 1950s." We've heard it again and again. It's baloney. Let me tell you why:
If you analyze the latest statistics from the FBI, i.e., those from January to June 2010, you can determine the crime rate not just in the City of Los Angeles, but also in the other 63 cities in California with a population exceeding 100,000 that keep track of their crime systematically.
Now, judging from the amount of crowing Villaraigosa and his politically appointed police chief have been doing, you would think L.A. has the lowest crime rate in the state, wouldn't you? You would be wrong.
If you rank all 64 cities from those with the lowest crime rates to those with the highest crime rates, the City of Los Angeles is . . . drum roll please . . . Number 48. In other words, 47 big cities in California have lower crime rates than L.A., and only 16 cities have higher crime rates. (See beautiful table below.)
Furthermore, Villaraigosa has no business comparing statistics from this century to statistics from the previous century. The reason, as the late LAPD Chief Daryl Gates explained in the LA Weekly, is police keep track of crimes in a much different fashion now than they did then. A given incident that used to be reported as several related offenses is now reported as just one, thus giving the illusion of fewer crimes.
The salient question, therefore, is not why crime in L.A. is supposedly lower than the 1950s. Rather, the question is this:
Why should we keep letting Mayor Villaraigosa squander millions, year after year, on unlicensed, unregulated "anti-gang programs" run by people with no credentials -- including ex-cons and Farrakhan followers -- who keep getting arrested and convicted of various crimes?
Villaraigosa's policies have put our city in the bottom 27% of the crime-fighting class. If voters graded on a curve, he would get a big red "F" for "failure."
It's time for City Council to pull the plug on the "anti-gang programs" -- especially given the multi-million dollar budget deficit that Villaraigosa's and City Council's orgy of over-spending has created.