Dear Chief Lansdowne:
I awoke this morning(Saturday Feb. 6th) and began doing what I do every morning- reading the news and drinking my coffee. A signonsandiego article regarding the police investigation of a murder-suicide in City Heights caught my eye I could not help reading it as a disturbing counterpoint to a OB Rag blog posting about the police crackdown on homeless youth in Ocean Beach.
I have lived in City Heights for over 20 years and I also contribute to the OB Rag. What I read this morning was essentially articles about not only different kinds of crime but articles about what seems to be two different cities in terms of police involvement. The following comment that I left on the blog sums up my analysis:
“A TALE OF TWO CRIMES”
I just finished reading a SignonSD account about the investigation of a murder-suicide in my neighborhood. A neighbor called 911 to report the sound of multiple gunshots in an adjacent apartment. He stayed awake for a few hours and never heard the police arrive. He called the non-emergency number the next day to express his concern. The police arrived later that afternoon to investigate. By all accounts so far, the police presence was about 12 hours later than the incident.
At the end of the article was the usual ravings by the U-T’s loyal readership- Sanders has cut the PD budget, so this is what happens. People will get shot, so City Heights just suck it up.
Right. The PD budget is now stretched so thin that our police cannot respond to every call. They have priorities….
Like naked swimmers in OB with how many cop cars responding? Like a bunch of kids hanging out on an OB seawall- loitering. LOITERING!!!!! Bring on the cops.
This is not only a tale of two crimes- it is also a tale of two cities. City Heights is a largely poor and often violent neighborhood, so who gives a s@&t? It is unknown and I don’t know if it will ever be determined when each of these men died. That’s a rather stomach churning thought too, to think that the victim might have gone on with life and the shooter could have received justice if they didn’t die immediately.
OB on the other hand is gentrified enough, with all that implies, to justify the police response and media coverage we’ve been reading about for the past week now in the OB Rag. And yes, it is all about gentrification when the police are called out in excessive numbers to respond to what are largely victimless crimes. It is not my idea of what it means to be protected and served. And it is not my idea of justice. …”
Chief Lansdowne- when exactly did the police arrive at the crime scene in City Heights? What is SDPD’s policy on responding to 911 when gun shots are discharged in an immediate area? Twenty years ago my neighbors said they didn’t bother to call police when they heard gunshots (they did however hit the floor on occasion) because they wouldn’t respond and it appears that not much has changed. This is a sobering thought.
How is your department prioritizing police response to citizen calls, given the current budget cuts? Do you make distinctions between victimless crimes and crimes with victims, and if so, does that change by area?
I need to make it clear that by all current accounts- which have not been corrected on signonsandiego- the police did not respond any where immediately to a murder in my neighborhood; by all accounts thus far, SDPD has responded quickly to a naked swimmer and loitering youth in OB.
There are at least two sides to every story, and I invite your response. I will also post this as an open letter on the Obrag.
Anna Grace Daniels