Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

LADP Wilshire Division Hosts Town Hall on Local Crime

LAPD Operations-West Bureau Commander Jonathan Tom, Operations-West Bureau Deputy Chief Blake H. Chow, Patrol Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Chaney, and Area Commanding Officer Captain Sonia Monico at the online town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 30.

On Tuesday, May 30, commanding officers from LAPD’s Wilshire Division held an online town hall meeting to report the latest local crime statistics and to talk about how the police are working to address certain persistent types of local crime.

The meeting was organized as a team presentation by Area Commanding Officer Captain Sonia Monico, LAPD Operations-West Bureau Commander Jonathan Tom, Operations-West Bureau Deputy Chief Blake H. Chow, and Patrol Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Chaney.

The officers started by explaining the general structure of the team at Wilshire Division, which includes the:

  • Detective Commanding Officer (who oversees six specialty investigative teams)
  • Gang Impact Team (which includes Narcotics, Gang Detail, and Vice officers)
  • And Community Relations Office (including the area’s Senior Lead Officers)

They also provided an updated list of Wilshire Division’s current Senior Lead Officers, along with a map showing the territory each covers (click the photo below to see and/or download the full size version):

According to the presenters, there were several big challenges for Wilshire Division in 2022, including violent crimes along the Melrose Corridor, street robberies and follow-home robberies throughout the division, and various kinds of property crimes.  The Division fought those issues with a combination of enforcement activities, community education, and community outreach efforts (including crime alerts, crime prevention tips, and more).

As a result, Captain Monico and the others reported on Tuesday, while property crimes still increased last year, homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults all declined, which added up to an overall 9% decrease in crime for 2022 from the previous year — the largest decline of any division in the city.


But Captain Monico acknowledged that since then, there have been some serious incidents in the first six months of 2023, including an attempted murder at 1700 S. Longwood Ave. on February 4, the much-publicized stabbing at LA High on May 1, and issues with a large homeless encampment at San Vicente and Orlando.  That said, however, Monico also reported that two people have been arrested and charged with murder in the Longwood incident, and there have been several arrests in the LA High incident, with two people charged with attempted murder, and one with illegal possession of a firearm.  Finally, Monico also reported that the San Vicente/Orlando encampment was finally cleaned up, and 27 of its residents housed, on May 11, through Mayor Karen Bass’ Inside Safe program.

Today, reported Monico and the others, Wilshire Division’s major challenges are largely stolen vehicles, thefts from motor vehicles, and thefts from area retail stores.  But while property crimes are up, she said, both business robberies and street robberies are down in Wilshire Division so far in 2023, which is definitely good news.

Monico and the other captains said they are using several strategies to deal with the local crime challenges this year, including:

  • Innovative deployment of resources
  • Designated and assigned foot beats and bike deployment
  • Strengthening partnerships (such as holding joint trainings with LAFD)
  • Continuous communications with both city officials and local residents and businesses
  • And building new relationships both in the community (through events such as Coffee with a Cop and meetings with local businesses) and with our new city council representatives.

Monico said that as we move into the summer months, “We are not letting our foot up off the pedal,” and that they will continue to focus on:

  • Crime fighting and quality of life preservation
  • Enforcement
  • Technology
  • Communication
  • And Teamwork/Partnerships

Further, Monico urged community members to help by:

  • Making sure security cameras, if people have them, are actually recording in case a crime occurs
  • Reporting suspicious activity (“If you see something, say something.”)
  • And calling 911 when there’s an actual emergency.

After the main presentation, the officers opened the session to questions from attendees, who raised several issues.

In response to a question about long wait times when calling 911, Captain Monico explained that LAPD rules say that all 911 calls should be answered within 7 minutes…but there are at least a couple of things that can lead to longer waits.  First, she said, if people call 911 about things that are not really life-and-death emergencies, the operators have to triage the call, and connect the caller to another department, which takes longer than responding directly, and can cause queues to back up for people who are waiting to report more urgent matters.  Also, said Monico, the city is currently short on 911 phone operators, though it is currently hiring – so if you know of anyone who’s interested in the job, please have them apply.

Regarding homelessness, Captain Chow said this is definitely the city’s biggest problem right now – made “10 times worse” by rampant addiction issues – and recommended that residents who are unhappy with the situation communicate with their elected officials as much as possible.  He also noted that two recent cleanups in the area were handled by Mayor Bass’ Inside Safe program, which, he said, is a more enduring solution than a simple police response or Sanitation cleanup, because it connects people to the services they need. Both Chow and Monico urged attendees to join with other neighbors in groups like their local Neighborhood Councils and Community Police Advisory Boards, because their voices will be louder and taken more seriously by elected officials if they speak as a group through these kinds of channels.  And, finally, Chow said people should be talking to both local elected officials and those at the state level, because new state laws like Prop 47 – which changed many drug-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors – affect how the police can (or can’t) hold people accountable for some kinds of offenses.

Several attendees mentioned LAPD’s own shortage of police officers, and Chow said the city will be hiring 750 new officers citywide.  He said, though, that the Police Academy graduates only about 25-50 officers in each new class, and Wilshire Division will be receiving 4 of the graduates from its latest class.

Finally, in response to a question about people using the large Ebell of Los Angeles parking lot for car stunts such as donuts and drifting, and whether or not that would qualify for a 911 emergency call, Chow said it would if people are gathering to watch the activity (as they do with street takeovers), which is definitely a public safety issue.  He also requested that if anyone sees social media posts advertising this kind of activity or gathering they should forward those to the police as well.

People who would like to follow up on any of the issues raised at Tuesday’s meeting are welcome to contact Captain Monico at [email protected], Captain Chaney at [email protected], or the LAPD Community Relations office at213-473-0200.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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  1. Regarding Deputy Chief Chow’s remarks to become more involved with our Neighborhood Councils, I could not agree more! The Mid City West NC has a Homeless Committee that I encourage EVERYONE concerned with this issue to attend and MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT to allow them to hear your concerns and ideas. If no one shows up, the board members only have their own ideas of what’s going on out there and I feel it’s a rather narrow opinion. Help by getting involved. The MCWNC calendar is at
    The next meeting is Monday June 5th at 6:30, Pan Pacific Senior Center located at 141 S Gardner St Los Angeles, CA 90036.
    Speaking on my own behalf, I have been attending the General Board meetings for over 2 years now and making public comment (even if being ignored by some) does make an impact on many of the board members.


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