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Where To Commit Crime in LA: MacArthur Park, Again

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MacArthur Park | Here in Van Nuys/Flickr

In 2004, live-feed cameras, paid for by donations, were installed in MacArthur Park. Police said crime went down. Then the cameras started not working, maintenance was not happening. Crime is supposedly on the increase.

Example: last Fall, among hundreds of people in the middle of the day, a 23-day-old infant was shot by a gunman. Did the cameras help? "The unfortunate tragedy was like a highlight. It amplified what we already knew was happening, but it took this tragedy to bring this kind of focus," Councilmember Ed Reyes told the LA Times.

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The Times reports that crime has gone up around the park, even though officials say it has gone down. The paper brings out the statistics, showing increases in and around the park, are considerable and a sign of bad times ahead for a low-staffed police department. Reyes challenges that higher percentages of increase are only due to success (there was one rape in 2006, three in 2007, a 300% increase).

Meanwhile, outside this author's apartment, all the sidewalks, probably some of the smoothest and well kept ones out there in this city, are being torn up and replaced with really smooth new sidewalks, complete with new sidewalk smell. I think we've found where the camera money went. Sorry Street Services.