The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office started a program this week to shuttle staff between their automobiles and workplaces in downtown Los Angeles amid a sequence of incidents through which some have been confronted by the general public, officers mentioned Thursday.
On Monday, the DA’s workplace launched the Employee Secure Transport and Escort Program (E-STEP) in an effort to supply free safe transportation for workers assigned to the Civic Center space.
“Security incidents involving aggressive confrontations initiated by members of the general public have occurred to our staff assigned within the Civic Center space, whereas strolling between their autos or transportation space and the workplace,” a information launch saying this system mentioned.
The program might be run by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation and might be in impact till everlasting transportation providers are secured.
The shuttle service will use centralized pick-up and drop off factors on the Hall of Justice on the Civic Center to attach passengers to Union Station and a parking zone in Chinatown.
Employees who join the service might be transported in a seven-passenger minivan.
Sworn personnel with the Bureau of Investigation will work in two shifts for every day of the work week: 6:20 a.m. to eight:20 a.m. and 4 p.m. to six p.m.
The shuttle will cease at every location each 20 minutes.
The transportation service announcement comes as District Attorney George Gascon faces mounting criticism that he has did not prosecute crime.
“It is unprecedented within the 173-year historical past of the LA District Attorney’s Office that staff should be escorted to and from their automobiles to guard them from random violent assaults,” John McKinney, a prosecutor with the DA’s workplace who’s operating to unseat Gascon in 2024, advised Fox News Digital in an announcement.
“While I applaud George Gascon for taking measures to make sure the protection of DA employees, I blame his insurance policies which have contributed to the necessity for such extraordinary measures,” he added. “My ideas additionally exit to the tens of millions of Los Angelenos who should journey concerning the County of Los Angeles with out the identical safety.”
The transfer comes as Los Angeles residents have fled public transportation as drug use and violence skyrocket.
Serious crimes, akin to aggravated assault, homicide and rape, on Los Angeles’ trains and buses elevated by 24% final yr, in comparison with 2021, whereas different less-serious crimes elevated by 14%, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
“We don’t even see any enterprise individuals anymore. We don’t see anyone going to Universal. It’s simply individuals who haven’t any different selection [than] to journey the system, homeless individuals and drug customers,” one unidentified Metro practice operator advised the Los Angeles Times.
Transit officers have responded to the spikes in crime by pledging $122 million to a program within the final yr to deploy 300 ambassadors to public transportation.
The ambassadors are unarmed and report crimes whereas additionally aiding some passengers.
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