If you’re planning on attending this week’s public safety committee meeting you shouldn’t make the trip to city hall as the committee is both moving the location and time of its meeting to make it more accessible to the public.
The committee, which meets a few times a year at city hall usually during the early afternoon, is moving tomorrow’s meeting to the Long Beach Fire Department training center near Stearns Park and has pushed the meeting’s start time back to 6:00PM.
Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, who chairs the three-person committee, said that the size of the city and early start of the meetings has made it difficult for some residents to stay engaged with the committee and its business.
“Public safety is an intensely important issue for the City and residents alike, so creating an easier opportunity for residents to be a part of this discussion would improve the City’s ability to be responsive to concerns, and improve public safety in our varied and unique neighborhoods,” Price said in a statement.
While the fire station classroom that Thursday night’s meeting will be held at pales in comparison to the capacity that the city hall council chamber offers, the hope is that the proximity to residents who might otherwise attend—but have been put off by the travel time to downtown—might result in a larger turnout.
Price’s chief of staff, Jack Cunningham, said that on average there are about 10-15 members of the public that show up for the meetings that are held about 3-4 times per year at city hall. The classroom reserved for tomorrow’s meeting holds about 50 people.
Cunningham said that because it’s the first time in his experience that the committee has hosted a meeting outside of city hall it’s hard to know what kind of turnout to anticipate tomorrow, but if they can double the previous averages it would be considered a win.
“When you put something in people’s backyards it’s kind of hard to come up with an excuse as to why you weren’t able to attend,” Cunningham said.
He added that the committee plans to host future meetings in locations throughout the city but due to the amount of time in between meetings and the committee’s desire to place meetings in districts facing certain time-sensitive concerns the location of the next meeting has yet to be disclosed.
On the agenda for the committee Thursday night are reports from the Long Beach Police Department on the Quality of Life officers, misdemeanor arrests on quality of life offenses as well as the feasibility of reinstating the city’s “Safe Ride Program”, which previously provided rides to inebriated drivers or their passengers, and a motion to have the department consider switching from traditional to electronic road flares.
The last item on the agenda is a report from both police and fire regarding the 4th of July holiday activity. Last week the city released statistics regarding calls for service, arrests, citations and the over 3,100 calls the city’s dispatch center received during the holiday weekend.