Palisades-Area Police Address Election Saftey Today

The following is a letter from Captain Jonathan Tom of the Los Angeles Police Department West Bureau about security in the Pacific Palisades-area ahead of the election.

There is a lot of concern about the upcoming election week. I’m being asked is it safe to vote at a polling center? Are there going to be riots? Should I stay home or keep my child out of school? Should I close or board up my business? It’s understandable that people have anxiety right now. It’s really a symptom of everything that we have been experiencing this year. We are all feeling off-balance and uneasy due to the impacts of Covid, civil unrest, daily/weekly demonstrations, riotous activity in the wake of the Lakers and Dodgers championships, and the vitriol surrounding the presidential elections. Adding to the anxiety is the information being circulated about the lengths that the City of Beverly Hills is going to in order to prevent unrest in their city coupled with the rumors that the hotels in downtown Los Angeles have been booked to capacity for the week of the elections.

I want to assure you that we are in communication with the Beverly Hills Police Department and they do not have any specific intelligence or information about looting or riotous acts in the upcoming weeks. You should know that the LAPD has our own intelligence analysts that scour the internet and social media for information about upcoming events and rumors of criminal activity and they communicate regularly with their counterparts in other agencies. As rumors and information are uncovered, it is investigated, shared and vetted with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners in the area and across the country. There is no truth to our downtown hotels being fully booked next week. There is also no evidence that there are large groups of people coming to the city to create havoc here. That does not mean that it will not happen, just that we do not have any forewarning of it. As always, we have to balance being reasonably prepared with over-reacting out of panic. While the City is experiencing financial difficulties, we have taken reasonable precautions to safeguard the lives and property of the communities we serve. The majority of the LAPD has gone through advanced crowd control/management training and we are heavily deployed during the election week with contingencies in place to respond to any unrest that may spontaneously occur. We are also aware of our polling locations and will be ready to respond if there are any crimes or disruptions to voting activity.

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