L.A. Mayor Contenders Assail Hahn’s Crime Record

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Candidates for Los Angeles mayor are questioning whether incumbent James K. Hahn has delivered on his promise to make Los Angeles “the safest big city in America,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Hahn has made public safety the centerpiece of his reign, touting his role in cutting crime and often appearing with LAPD Chief William Bratton. Last week, Bratton conceded that he would fail to reduce the number of homicides by 20 percent this year, as he had promised. The murder total so far this year is higher than at the same time last year. Yesterday, Councilman Bernard C. Parks drew attention to homicides, particularly in his own South Los Angeles district, and said he plans to hold hearings on the issue. “The mayor has offered the safest big city as his goal,” said the former police chief, who is challenging the mayor. “The issue is, have we achieved the safest big-city status?”

Hahn pushed Parks out as chief in early 2002, and named Bratton to replace him. Three other mayoral candidates joined in the debate after Parks announced that he would introduce a motion today to call the LAPD before the City Council’s Public Safety Committee to address its long-term crime-fighting strategies. Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg said the mayor had failed to deliver on his No. 1 promise. “How does he explain that homicides are dropping in New York City and Chicago and going up in Los Angeles?” Hertzberg asked. “He just hasn’t delivered.”

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-parks8sep08,1,2122436.story?coll=la-headlines-california

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