Security guards — not LAPD — to protect graffitied towers

The city of Los Angeles no longer needs to deploy police officers to protect abandoned buildings at Oceanwide Plaza from graffiti and other intruders thanks to a new law that allows the city to hire private security guards to monitor degraded skyscrapers.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that allows it to “provide private security to secure abandoned properties,” a law intended to address the plight of the abandoned complex in the heart of downtown Los Angeles , although it applies to everyone. abandoned building in the city.

The order, which passed 13-0, comes as the Los Angeles Police Department has been strained to protect the neglected downtown Los Angeles complex that earlier this year became a popular site for graffiti artists and daredevils, who have entered the property illegally. The complex’s owner, a Chinese conglomerate, ran out of financing before completing the residential and commercial project.

Private security would cost less than paying LAPD officers to “guard” the property, said Pete Brown, a spokesman for council member Kevin De León, who represents parts of downtown Los Angeles. Before hiring private security, Brown said the city checks to see if Oceanwide will provide its own security team.

“Right now, the fact that the LAPD is outsourced, quasi-outsourced, as a security team to secure the perimeter of these buildings, is not sustainable,” De León said, according to NBC. “LAPD is a trained and professional police force. They are there to protect and serve the city of Los Angeles, not to protect and guard the buildings.

Former LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in February that his officers spent “more than 3,000 hours” securing the complex.

“We have brought in some officers on an overtime basis so that we can provide these additional patrols, or station them at this site to deter vandals and others from accessing it while ensuring that we meet the minimum requirements deployment for stations across the country. the city,” Moore said.

This is just the latest step the city has taken to secure the property.

In February, the council allocated $1.1 million to fund a fence around the property.

The Oceanwide Plaza project, which consists of three towers located across Figueroa Street from the Arena, gained public attention this year when many floors were defaced with graffiti just before the Grammy Awards ceremony in the arena.

Since then, the LAPD has investigated shootings at the building and paragliders even jumped from the tower’s roof for a social media video.

The buildings’ owner, Oceanwide Holdings, is a Beijing-based publicly traded company that halted the billion-dollar project in 2019 when it ran out of money.

California Daily Newspapers

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