Citizen Oversight For Dog Park Needed
By Joann Deutch
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:13:02 AM
CANYON—It was all excitement at the
Park last week. The park was swarming with law enforcement, ticket books in hand. Over the past several months security and protection of the city’s parks have been transferred from the Department of Recreation and Parks to a special division of the Los Angeles Police Department. So new in fact, that the website is still calling the park law enforcement part of the Office of Public Safety. And therein lays the problem.
The Laurel Canyon Park (Credit @Whitney Malchow / Twitter)
While people are calling the number listed on the website and the signs at the parks for police protection or intervention, those calls were/are being kicked to LAPD’s 911 line with a wait for 10 or so minutes, which if you’re calling from inside the park is an issue with spotty cell phone service. So put this in your phone book. (323) 913-7390 for when you need law enforcement in the park. Don’t expect lights and sirens in response to the call. Email Kevin.Regan@lacity.org. Make a report.
That leaves it to us to report inappropriate activity in the parks otherwise. We are their eyes and ears. For them no news is good news. OMG have we become a communist state were we have to snitch? Do you say, “Let someone else deal with it?”
The dog park is both large and remote, giving scofflaws the impression that they can do what they wish. In fact people smoke in the park; they bring unneutered dogs; the dogs get into fights which draw the owners into conflict. Not to mention the probably illegal dog walkers with their 5 to 10 dog packs who certainly don’t have voice control over their pack animals. Dogs are not on leash from the car inside the gates at the park. Crazy because the other half of the park users zoom through the parking lot, and there goes another confrontation, none of which can ever be described as civil, it starts at aggressive and ramps up from there. All of this happens when the dog owners have walked by more then one sign which asks that they not engage in these behaviors. It seems to be the high irony that the Department of Recs and Parks seems to think that if one sign advising park users not to smoke, or bring a pack of dogs into the park, then surely 2 or more signs will get the point across.
It seems that while the parks have money for signs they are thin on money for enforcement or practical sense. “Th[e] reduction in … dollars has required reductions and eliminations of programs …and the cleanliness of our park system. We have had to eliminate or … reduce … programs, close our Recreation Centers on Sundays and Holidays, eliminate … cleanings of our facilities…,” said the LA Director of Parks.
They have closed parks and laid off staff, but leave a dog park open and unsupervised even though they are aware of the potential for a dangerous and reckless event at the park? Did I miss the part about parks being for humans first, or do dogs vote?
Everyone loves their dog, no one thinks their dog bites, and no one loves the other dog that just gnawed on Fluffy - who mind you - doesn’t bite.
The cynic in me says, just set up a lawyer’s office in the park.
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