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It's not a 'perception issue' that Dodgers eliminated uniformed police officers at stadium in 2009

Photo: Los Angeles police officers make their way through Dodger Stadium after the game Friday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Someday, there will be good news coming the Dodgers’ way. Not today, though. Certainly not recently. Probably not tomorrow, either.

It’s an organization on the wrong kind of a roll. And still picking up speed.

Security has become a bigger issue with the Dodgers than their lack of offensive power, and now a new story in The Times by Joel Rubin shows that the Dodgers eliminated having uniformed police at Dodger Stadium two years ago. That’s two years before the brutal attack of a Giants fan on opening day.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch, who keeps getting stuck having to speak for Frank McCourt, acknowledged in the story that the organization cut uniformed officers from the security team, but declined to discuss the reason.

Anybody want to make any wild guesses?

Later in the story, it said uniformed police officers were paid $50 an hour and worked about six hours per game. With 81 home games and approximately 50 uniformed police officers working most games, Rubin notes the cost could easily exceed $1 million.

At Thursday’s news conference on security in a Dodger Stadium parking lot, L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was a "crisis in confidence" in the security at the stadium, but it was a perception issue more than a reality. Which gives me a crisis in confidence in Beck.

Beck keeps saying that the crime numbers are down at the stadium. Numbers, as we know in baseball, are great things. His numbers refer to serious crimes, and their decline could have something to do with 50 uniformed policemen no longer around the ballpark.

And as Rubin said, those declining numbers do not include less serious crimes such as public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Beck comes off as a bright man, but he seems out of touch with what’s actually going on inside the stadium. It’s not just the violent crimes, but the general abusive fan behavior and foul language. I invite him to wear an opposing team’s jersey and sit in a few of the sections and then come back and report how the stadium problems are just a perception issue.

Officers told Rubin that when the Dodgers hired them to work in blue polo shirts, an intimidation factor was lost. And the situation was compounded by an increasing presence of gang members at games over the last several years.

"I lasted two games," said one LAPD officer, who stayed on briefly at the stadium after uniforms were eliminated. "It was crazy. These gangbangers would be drunk, defiant, cursing us out when we tried to kick them out. They had no idea we were cops. We had no leverage on them. There is no authority in a polo shirt."

Now off-duty uniformed police are back in force, which is a good thing. How long they’ll be back is uncertain. How long does it take to change perception?

RELATED:

Changes in Dodgers' security preceded attack on Giants fan

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig sends delegation to monitor Dodger Stadium security

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles police officers make their way through Dodger Stadium after the game Friday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (19)

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I actually used to be proud to be a Dodger fan. This franchise is a laughingstock now, and rightfully so. Embarrassing.

Why did Frank McCourt remove all the uniformed cops in 2009??

Outrageous.

BOYTCOTT the Dodgers . . . Until McCourt is gone.

It is obvious that Frank McCourt and Dodger Executive Josh Rawitch are in full "cover up" mode. MLB's John McHale Jr. is no slouch and he will uncover the rest of the iceberg. The next question is whether Bud Selig and the MLB will join the cover up or expose McCourt and Rawitch and move aggressively to provide appropriate solutions.

When does Major League Baseball step in and say "Enough with this management!!" ???

anybody claiming it is too expensive to have the 50 uniformed cops per game needs to be called on it. given the numbers in the story, and assuming 20,000 cars in the lot per game, it would take all of 4 games at $15/car to cover the cost. parking lot money is not supposed to pay for the boy to be on the payroll when he's off at school. parking lot money should pay for the people patrolling it and it's security and upkeep. and yes a little profit if you must. they tried to patrol on the cheap and failed.

McCheap striks again! The less people in the stands he quicker Frank and his fellow crooks can leave

"Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was a 'crisis in confidence' in the security at the stadium, but it was a perception issue more than a reality. Which gives me a crisis in confidence in Beck."
> Exactly. But why do we consistently get such poor leaders in this city? Ones that refuse (as here) to simply face reality? It's one of the main reasons we end up having these sorts of problems at all.

Public Notice......BOY-COTT BOY-COTT BOY-COTT UNTIL McDork leaves !!!!!

You can blame the money grubbing players union for that.

This is a well put post Steve. I've been writing complaint emails to Dodgers personnel for 3 years now. I get no apology or even a response. I won't sit in the upper deck or the bleachers anymore. I was told by security once that I got hit by peanuts because I was cheering for my own team. This ignorance was all a long time coming.

Its the dumbest thing in a long time! Good article though.

2012 will be the 50th Anniversary of Dodger Stadium, the third oldest in the Major Leagues (behind Wrigley Field and Fenway Park). It should also be the last year. A brand new 45-48,ooo seat state-of-the-art Stadium should open for the 2013 Baseball Season. Of course, this will not happen! The owners (Husband and Wife) decided to do other things with revenues. This new state-of-the art Stadium would have a different look (perhaps a look alike of Ebbets Field), different seating which would include many more suites, a different parking lot (the owners know a lot about those things!) which would include different lighting and tighter security measures. Until these folks sell the team, we are going to have very difficult times.

Mccourt is a fraud who cares nothing for fans. Tel Bud Selig to get him out of LA. #

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
City: New York, State: NY Zip Code: 10167
Phone: 212-931-7800
Fax: 212-949-5654

That's right, Bob. Let's blame the players' union for the failings of Dodger management. What a huge disconnect. Has the union really robbed McCourt of the money he needs to maintain a safe and up-to-date major league ballpark? Has the union's "greed" stopped McCourt from fielding a major league contender? I don't think so. I think the greed has another source, Bob. Court testimony from certain divorce proceedings is public record, if you could read, Bob.
Hey Bob, why don't you got back to the pre-union days in the late 60's and early 70's when players were chattel and were bound to their respective clubs with the unconstitutional Reserve Clause. Ah, the good old days. You probably think we blew it in Vietnam, too. Yeah, we should have stayed there and bombed the hell out of the commies until there was nothing left of that country. And Nixon got a raw deal, too. Right, Bob?

The only way to reduce the cost is to completely eliminate the latino gang culture from our society.

As long as latino gangs continue to infest the city, they'll keep coming back, resulting in the need for more officers in the ball park. It's like dealing with cockroaches and ants. You kill some, and the next day, you find more in your backyard.

There are way too many irresponsible people who keep having more kids that they can't afford to raise and educate, and latino communities especially have more these types of irresponsible parents than any other. They'll keep having more kids even though they can't afford them because they know government will offer them help financially for each of the extra kid that they have.

Does anyone in the world think the Dodgers will ever be a great organization as long as McCourt is the owner? I think an unbelievably high number of people are really just waiting for the guy to run out of smoke, mirror, and credit and that credible ownership will return to Los Angeles. It's hard to believe the moneyguys in Selig's office will let the value of the Los Angeles franchise degrade indefinitely, but here the year's barely started and the Dodgers are shown to have dumped their security, have no left handed relief pitchers after one injury, have a completely barren minor league system except possibly at the lowest levels, and (no surprise) have a mediorcre record. Is anyone ever going to stop this embarassing ownership fiasco?

He should never have been allowed to buy the team in the first place, as the LA Times reported, very thoroughly, when the sale took place. MLB lets this guy buy a team, but not Cuban? At least Cuban can meet his payroll obligations.

"The next question is whether Bud Selig and the MLB will join the cover up or expose McCourt and Rawitch and move aggressively to provide appropriate solutions. "

"Join the cover up"?! Bud Selig HEADS the cover-up! He fast tracked the sale of the Dodgers to Frank McCourt, because he didn't want the Dodgers to become a "Yankees West". That is not Selig-bashing, that is a FACT. Because- you know- you see how terrible it is to have powerhouse teams by looking at what's happening to the NBA- LA, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York- it's terrible! They're talking about MVP chases and title prospects, instead of grand jury testimonies, ownership crises, and security issues. (Ok, THAT was Selig bashing. I just can't help myself.)

As for lumping Rawitch in with this mess, come on- he's just doing what he's required to by his boss. Not of all us enjoy going along with what our boss wants us to do, but we like getting paid. Truth be told, Rawitch's position of power should conjure envy for us schmoes, but really, it's just pity. I'm sure he hates covering for McCourt even more than we hate listening to it.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch, who keeps getting stuck having to speak for Frank McCourt, acknowledged in the story that the organization cut uniformed officers from the security team, but declined to discuss the reason.

Anybody want to make any wild guesses?

I don't think it's too wild a guess if you look at the hiring of Dr. Steinberg just prior to the change and his initiatives to change the atmosphere of the ballpark (when he wasn't working on Jamie's presidential campaign).

Any guess why MLB isn't too harsh on McCourt on this one. Ask Selig's senior advisor on public affairs. You know, the one named Steinberg.


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