A community meeting at the Expo Arts Center prior to the 2016 Long Beach Pow! Wow! event. Photo: Asia Morris
Long Beach’s next public safety committee meeting will change locations again as it branches out from its normal home inside city hall to the Expo Arts Center October 11.
The previous public safety committee meeting was held at the Long Beach Fire Department’s training center near Stearns Park in July in an attempt to boost attendance at an event that’s typically held downtown and during the early afternoon. The start time, like the upcoming October meeting, was also pushed back to 6:00PM to allow for more residents to attend.
Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, who chairs the committee, has previously stated that the time and location of the meetings have made it hard for constituents to engage with the committee so she made the decision to take the show on the road. Next month’s meeting at the Expo Arts Center will be held in the Eighth District, where committee member Al Austin serves as a council representative.
“The Public Safety Committee is very happy that location and time changes to their meetings allowed for so many more residents to attend this important committee’s meetings," Price said in a statement. “Long Beach is a large city which makes it difficult for residents to travel downtown for meetings especially when those meetings are held before 6:00PM.”
Price said that hosting meetings for such an important issue as public safety enables the city to better respond to concerns that emanate from the various unique neighborhoods across the city. The city council meeting has also shifted locations in the past few months, hosting its weekly meeting at McBride High School in East Long Beach in August.
The committee's meetings, which are sparsely attended likely due to its previously scheduled start time of 2:00PM, was boosted by the late start in July. Jack Cunningham, Price’s chief of staff, said that while the committee typically draws about 10-15 residents the July meeting had about 25-30.
Hosting the upcoming meeting in Austin's district and the previous inside Fourth District Councilman Daryl Supernaw’s—he serves as the committee’s vice chair—would seemingly suggest that the next might be slated for a venue in Price's district but Cunningham said that the next meeting location will be determined on demand and that his office is reaching out to other council districts to sense their interest in possibly hosting an upcoming public safety committee meeting.
Included on the agenda for the October 11 meeting is an update on the Long Beach Police Department’s use of body cameras, reports on sexual assaults and hate crimes in Long Beach as well as a report on Naxolone and how it can be used as a tool to reverse overdoses from opioids.
The Expo Arts Center is located at 4321 Atlantic Avenue.