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RESPECT

By Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph

Hello Skid Row. I would like to talk about respect.  On many occasions, when I walk down the street, the criminal element begins to scatter, and those that cannot move fast enough hide their illegal contraband and devices.  Others are ordered by members of the community to get up, so I could have my "respect".

I want to inform you that though we all should respect one another, it is your right to respect me or have distain for me. Whichever way one chooses to feel, I am mandated to show respect to all whether they respect me or not. Please know that I am not above you because of the badge I wear.  I am no more extraordinary or special than any other man or woman.  I have simply been given the honorable responsibility of ensuring public safety, and that all laws of this city are observed.  So if you respect me. That's nice.  I appreciate it.  But if you don't, that's fine too, as long as you respect the law.  That is my primary concern because when the laws are obeyed, lives, and the quality of life are preserved.

But I would like to discuss something that we all should respect in this area, and that is the diligent work of the service provider community (i.e. drug programs, shelters, alcohol programs, and mental health services). 

Nothing irritates me more than when people who seek assistance with beating their addictions within these safe havens in the community, are hurt by people who hinder their efforts by selling and using narcotics directly behind and sometimes within drug programs and shelters.

That to me is the height of disrespect.  If you do not respect yourself and do not want to change your life, no one should impede the service provider community's efforts to help change the lives of those with the desire to change via narcotics sales, usage, and other illegal acts. 

That is selfishness to the highest degree.  I believe in every human being is a capacity for decency.  So if you are a dealer or an addict that refuses to change, have the decency not to stand in the way of those who do want to do something better with their lives, as well as the people that are trying to help them.

To assist you in that, I will be adding enhancements to those arrested for selling narcotics, behind or within 1000 feet of any mission or shelter (11380.7 of the Health and Safety Code).   It should not have to come to that, but it may be necessary.

I am seeking your voluntary compliance before I take action.  I would like for all those in need of help to take advantage of the services offered in this area.  But if that does not interest you, stay away from the missions when you are violating the laws, and yourselves. 

Also, respect the men and women from within your community who are trying to bring art and beauty to the San Julian corridor, and taking it upon themselves to sweep the streets.  Respect them by utilizing the trashcans that are placed on the sidewalks with you in mind.  Show pride in your area, because if you don't respect where you live, no one else will.

For those trying to get control of your lives, you are in my constant prayers.  Please let me know when you graduate.  I would love to support you in anyway I can, because I believe that there is hope for skid row.  That is why I police the way I do.  I want to help create an environment conducive to positive change in your lives. 

God bless you all.

Comments

Nice article...but how many of the Skid Row residents do you think have Internet access? I suppose they weren't the intended audience.

Another well written blog Officer Joseph. Your insight of Skid Row paints a picture that many of us who never have to go there will never have to see for ourselves, but it's important for everyone to know. Skid Row is everyone's problem, not just those that live and work there.

How very sad that there are those that prey on the weak who are trying to be strong, do the right thing and change their lives for the better. I believe most anyone can overcome whatever demons they have if they try hard and are in the right environment. How sad that there are people who instead try and entice recovering addicts to stay hooked on drugs. Unfortunately, the dealers and addicts who try and keep people addicted will never give the respect you ask for. They don't repect themselves, they aren't going to respect anyone else.

Fortunately, there are people like you and your fellow officers there to do the next best thing. For those that don't offer respect and continue to commit criminal acts you can arrest and remove them from the area and try and make sure they don't come back or at least make it a really big hassle so that they won't want to come back.

Good luck with your efforts to help those trying to beat their addictions and God Bless you and your fellow officers. You folks do good work. Be safe.

Another "Manifesto of a Madman".

Cue Aretha Franklin's tune, "R.E.S.P.E.C.T."

Los Angeles POLICE Deserve Much more Respect than they get Unfortunately they are not appreciated enough in our society It's such a shame that the men and women that put there LIFE on the Line EveryDay for the People in our community I have tremedous adniration for the Brave LAPD That are doing their Best to protect this society

The business owners downtown deserve a little "respect" too. I'm sure you agree. They have to put up with these degenerates urinating, defecating, shooting up narcotics, selling narcotics, drinking, fighting, stealing in the streets and in their stores as well as sleeping in the doorways of their establishments. Let's step out of utopia for just a moment and step into reality. There is a reason that there are empty beds in the missions and shelters every night. Because the inhabitants of those shelters have to abide by rules, which most of these antisocial types are not willing to do. Most of the folks on skidrow are there because they "choose" to be there. And continue to "choose" to ingest drugs and continue their antisocial behavior. I am not saying we abandon them, but lets be realistic about the improbability of most of these people getting clean or treating anyone who questions their actions with respect. Now the business owners choose to open a business and conduct themselves in a lawful manner, by contributing to the betterment of our community, and they deserve more respect than our weak and callow city government is giving them.
As for a drug addict, dealer, felon, parolee or gangster not giving me respect? I treat everyone with respect until you cross the line or your actions don't deserve "respect". Any of these malcontents are not going to respect anyone that calls them on their criminal activity. I would rather I have to deal with that disrespect (it is my job) than Joe Citizen. Because one way or another that anti social attitude will be addressed and corrected. Also, some drug addict or drunk dropping his pants, hanging out his (you know what) and urinating on a public sidewalk where children and law abiding citizens are present, is not worthy of a "please do not do that". He's got zero "respect" for himself or anyone else for that matter and needs to be lawfully dealt with A.S.A.P.. And that kind of activity is the status quo on skidrow. As for being a Police Officer and whether or not you respect us or not? Being a Police Officer does not us morally superior, but percentage wise, those involved in Law Enforcement are better members of society as a whole than most in the private sector. I would also add Fire fighters, EMT's, Nurses, Teachers to that list. Now that's not to say all, because we certainly have our share of idiots, but as a whole, we are better, more positively contributing members of society.
I don't disagree with most of what Officer Joseph wrote, and God love him for taking on these tasks, but lets not all sit around and sing kum bi ya. This problem is a little more serious and convoluted than this city is willing to admit or address. And that's probably a good reason why the 2012 Olympic bid got denied and the business owners are so disgusted with the city "leaders"! Skidrow is like a third world country with people acting like savages and living in tents. C'mon, is that "RESPECT"? I think not.

We need change in this city. So I hope Walter Moore gets elected. A monkey from the LA Zoo could do a better job than Antonio Villa-la-raza.

Hello Pogue. Thanks for your response

Do not be suprised, there is an internet cafe at the Rescue Mission, there are libraries near skid row with internet access utilized by the homeless, and those who live in supportive low income housing in the skid row area who email me from time to time. Also, those who do not have the access, get to here it from me 40 hours a week.

My intended audience is primarily skid row, but also for those who do not get down to skid row very often, who do not get a chance to hear how the front line of law enforcement feels about the particular areas they serve.

God Bless

SLO Joseph. Thank you for your response. It did prove enlightening. I had no idea that the Skid Row residents has that access. It is nice to see that you are making such an effort with a part of society that most of us prefer to avoid.

If the city and state were serious about getting rid of the drug problem they would get rid of Prop 36. Its a revolving door for drug criminals. Thats right i said criminals. They are criminals first and i would say its a sickness last. These people chose to smoke crack or what ever their drug of CHOICE is. Its a crime and it should be treated as such. But instead the city and state are treating it like a sickness and drug users and some sellers are out on the street in 48 hours. This city has a liberal view on crime and drugs. If you want to be serious about these problems then this government could act, but they don't.
Not only are the Olympics not coming back to LA but you wont see a pro football team. Have you been to a LA Dodger game lately. Its nothing but a gang-banger convention. I have had relatives that have gone to a game only to come away with more fears and discust at this city. Perception is everything. It is perceived that downtown Los Angeles is a dirty drug infested, gang problemed city. The cops out there are doing everything they can, but i bet the city leaders and department leaders could do more and be a bit more stronger when dealing with this cities crime problems and perceptions. We are a sanctuary city where illegal alien gang members kill innocent people. Where is the City leadership? The police department is undermaned and the funds that are to be used for getting new cops are trying to be taken by ex- Chief Parks. Where is the leadership? The tax payers are forking over millions of dollars for a Consent Decree that the department has been in compliance with for some time. The money could be used for better things. Where is the leadership? Its hard to believe that in this great country we have such a lack of political leadership. This city has no one. No Police Chief that can stand up to the liberals that are killing this city. No Mayor or any other political leader who can do the right thing for this city, for this country. It is sad.

I'd have to agree with Anthony Sullivan. I know a couple of people who recently went to a Dodger's game, and they were nearly beaten up for wearing a certain color. The really sad part is that the staff there seemed to be very unconcerned about what occured and had a casual laughing conversation with the gangbanger. Most of the people I know, including myself would never go to Dodgers stadium again.

This can be a really beautiful city, if only people really paid attention to what's going on here.

What a beautiful post, by a truly concerned human being. Having two parents who were both addicts (they NEVER ran the street, we always had a roof over our head...they were pill poppers) I can sympathize with wanting to hurt the people that try to sell drugs near treatment centers.

I give the police, ALL of the police that work in Skid Row and ALL of Los Angeles for that matter...the utmost respect. Why do I give that respect? Because if I saw a lowlife scumbag trying to sell dope to someone who WANTS to make a positive change in their life, or if I had to apprehend a man who had raped a 14 year old girl....I would kill them myself. These officers must have amazing self control, because I would lose it, and end up in jail myself...for ridding the world of another lowlife scumbag.

On a closing note - Dodger Stadium! I do understand the gang problem there, my father and I go to Dodger games all the time...we've been going since I was a little girl of maybe 3. We are both Caucasian, and we've never ever been harassed by ANY gang members. Maybe it is because we BOTH wear Dodger apparel and jeans, but honestly, I think it's because I look at these people like my equals. I don't look down on them, I don't know them. People are too quick to pass judgment on other people. I'll look over, and smile, and even talk to these people...about the game of course, but it DOES come down to respect. If you treat others kindly, and the way you'd like to be treated, they usually give it back :) But this is just my own experience, I am sure people have many horrible stories about being harassed, or bullied.

DON'T BE AFRAID. Don't tell yourself "I'm never going back" because that's exactly what they want. It's time for us GOOD citizens to start standing up and taking back what is OURS. Don't give into intimidation, meet it with a smile and stand your ground. We will not be moved.

Vikki...
I wish it was that easy. Gang Bangers are predators and they prey on the weak and they could care less if you respect them or not. They are cowards by nature and don't respect anybody who isn't in their clique.

Vikki,

I admire your attitude and I wish I still had an ounce of that outlook left in me. I was born and raised in the Dodger Stadium area, and I've just seen it deteriorate more and more. I never judged people out there because I never saw anything different, I was always a part of them. The people can be really beautiful and great but it's the gang infestation that is the real problem. People just don't seem to care. I just don't feel safe driving around my old neighborhood anymore and that is the truly sad part.

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