Saturday, July 14, 2007

Patrol of July 13, 10pm - midnight

Warm night with lots of dog walkers. El Rey was in session and Busby was busy. We reported to 311 dark street lights: a number of them were out at Cochran and at Hauser.

We were heading home at midnight when a suspicious man walked past Cynthia, Dan and I as we walked north on Cochran. He turned around to follow us and we crossed the street and observed.

Since there was a large number of people still out and about we decided to continue to observe and began calling the police dept and mentioned to people on the streets that there was a suspecious person about and for them to be aware. We observed him for quite a few minutes as he went back and forth along the north side of 6th Street. But we lost him going south on Burnside toward Wilshire. We decided to continue down to Wilshire and go north on Ridgley. The LAPD unit arrived and we described what we observed and they began to drive around to look.

Dan continued north and Cynthia and I went south on Ridgley. We turned east onto Wilshire and I turned to look back and the man was at the corner at the Ralphs and began to follow us east bound on Wilshire. At this point, Cynthia and I were not eager to continue observing and so we sped down Wilshire and headed north onto Burnside when we observed the man in the Smart and Final parking lot heading toward us - was he thinking he could cut us off?

The LAPD vehicle was parked outside the parking lot but the officers were on foot and not in the car. The man saw the car and the gates so he turned away. We saw the officers walking back to their car and we reported what we saw. At that point, Cynthia and I called it a night and we went home leaving the job to the LAPD.


(1) How should we handle such matters in the future?

(2) Cell phone communications is spotty in the area for Cingular. When I called 911 the operator said she couldn't hear me very well and I had to repeat my street locations a number of times. Also since she saw my 818 cell phone number on her screen I'm sure that added to the confusion.

(3) Cynthia and Dan also called 911 and some other numbers we have on file and I don't know what their experience was. But obviously one of our calls worked its way through the system as the LAPD was there in about ... 10 minutes?

(4) We should have some coordination with the LAPD Wilshire on the evenings we are out on foot. Perhaps we could have cut down the response time if we had a more direct link to the local unit in the area.

Anything else that Dan and Cynthia would like to add?


Dan Steinberg said...

I think we handled the situation well. It would be nice to have some direct link with LAPD Wilshire Division patrol officers. If we were able to meet with officers before the patrol and possibly have their cell number, that would have helped immensely.

I tried initially calling 311 since it didn't seem like an emergency, but I gave up after about 5 minutes of being put on hold. When I called 911, they picked up after about 2 minutes and within about 1 minute of hanging up with LAPD, I heard the call dispatched on my police scanner.

An LAPD patrol car responded pretty quickly, I would say less than 5 minutes from the time I heard the dispatch on the scanner.

I think my only mistake was having my cell phone on vibrate, so I missed Rene's call trying to alert me that they had spotted the man again. I was with the LAPD officers when he called and possibly could have responded quicker. By the time Rene found us, the man had disappeared again.

theo N said...

I'm about to meet Cary for our July 14th shift. I think I'll coordinate with him about where we'll walk.

Wish us luck!