LA Cops Take Out the Trash

The city of Los Angeles forms a task force of prosecutors, police, and others to combat illegal disposal of trash all over town.
September 12, 2008, 11am PDT | Larry Schooler
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"Shawn Massey, a veteran officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, wheeled his vehicle onto a parallel street and darted into an alley connecting the two roadways. Shutting off his headlights, he and his partner waited for the dump truck to pass.

The two officers were part of a city task force formed to crack down on people who illegally dump refuse in neighborhoods south of the Santa Monica Freeway.

The effort represents a change in strategy for the city. In the mid-1990s, the LAPD conducted similar patrols but cut back in recent years so officers could focus more on violent crime. Policing alleys was left largely to street services investigators, who have authority to make misdemeanor arrests if they catch someone dumping. But because those investigators are unarmed, they tended to steer clear of some of the toughest neighborhoods unless they have a police escort."

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Published on Monday, September 8, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times
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