LAPD Police Chief William Bratton speaking to reporters after his keynote address. More at blogdowntown [Bratton Needs 'New Medicine' for Skid Row] . January 17, 2008.
Those attending The Manhattan Institute Panel Discussion "Policing Skid Row: Is the Safer Cities Initiative the Right Approach?" heard LAPD Chief of Police William Bratton's now often used phrase "Cops Matter” ––a decree carrying more weight as Bratton’s reputation as the urban crime fighter becomes bi-coastal.
The panel discussion was inspired by Heather McDonald's The Reclamation of Skid Row a City Journal article that returned the infamous Downtown district back to the national spotlight by highlighting Captain (now Commander) Andrew Smith’s execution of Bratton's "Broken Windows Theory". The article also credits LAPD’s success in reducing crime came despite the resistance of the ACLU and the way "the rest of the homeless industry have used to keep Skid Row in chaos."
Bratton's Safer Cities Initiative dropped New York crime levels while he served as NYPD Police Commissioner. First practiced in Manhattan's subways, you can see how Bratton may have seen public transportation as a petri dish for crime while he was Chief of Police for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and later Chief of Police of the New York City Transit Police.
A counter POV was offered by Mark Kleiman, Professor of Public Policy at UCLA, who stepped in for Gary Blasi, Professor of Law, UCLA and Jennifer Wolch, Professor of Geography, USC. Both Balsi and Wolch declined an invitation to sit in on the either of the two morning panels; instead sending a document "suggesting" that Skid Row residents and Skid Row-based organizations could/should speak for themselves while representing a target population that’s "overwhelmingly African-American and Latino.”
As usual, New York is considered a template on how to turn Los Angeles around by some of the New York based panelists. Gretchen Dykstra, former President of the Times Square Business Improvement District, regards a true solution to rebuild any urban social infrastructure is to respect a district’s history.
Many fail to know that Skid Row only previous history was agriculture before becoming fields of railroad tracks importing and exporting goods, and in part created a transient culture.
In other words; the area known as Downtown L.A’s Skid Row has very little 20th Century history––other than being Downtown L.A.’s Skid Row.
Other Current News of the Day:
Panel Discussion Final Players
"Policing Skid Row: Is the Safer Cities Initiative the Right Approach?"
Presented by the Manhattan Institute and the Milken Institute
James Q. Wilson
Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University
Panel Discussion I:
"Saving Skid Row from Squalor, or Criminalizing Homelessness?"
Heather Mac Donald Contributing Editor, City Journal
Andrew Smith Commander, Los Angeles Police Department
Mark Kleiman Professor of Public Policy, UCLA School of Public Affairs
Carol Wilkins Director of Intergovernmental Policy, Corporation for Supportive Housing
Panel Discussion I:
"Lessons of Skid Row: Implications for Public Space and Order"
George Kelling Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Gretchen Dykstra Former President, Times Square Business Improvement District
Estela Lopez Executive Director, Central City East Association
Torie Osborn Senior Advisor to Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles
William Bratton Chief of Police, Los Angeles Police Department