Era of LAPD Body Cameras to Start Monday

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The first LA police officers will begin wearing body cameras on Monday as city leaders look for funding to outfit all cops with them.

Starting Monday, body cameras will be handed out to Los Angeles police officers at the Mission Station — the first of 860 cameras that will be distributed to officers in three divisions.

Officers at the Mission Division will be the first to get training on the cameras, followed by officers at the Newton Division on Sept. 15 and the Central traffic and specialized divisions on Sept. 28, LAPD Chief Information Officer Maggie Goodrich told the Police Commission.

Goodrich said the department spent the past few months installing the network and infrastructure for the body cameras.

LAPD officials chose a Taser body camera that is designed to be worn on the chest.

The cameras were donated to the department through the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has also called for a $10 million plan to outfit the entire police department with body cameras. The City Council earlier this year approved a budget that allocates half of the funding needed to purchase 7,000 additional cameras. Officials are applying for federal grants to pay for the other half of the camera purchase costs.

HOMELESS TO HOUSING: Successful Models for Change

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Join special guests Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian, State Senators Ben Allen and Holly Mitchell, Council Members Mike Bonin and David Ryu, Stakeholders, and Concerned Residents for a forum on successful strategies on homelessness.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
7:00 pm

Harmony Gold Theater
7655 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Register at www.povertymattersusa.org

Free to Attend. Please donate what you can.

Sponsorship Opportunities available at www.povertymattersusa.org Read more »

LADWP Urges Saving Energy While Staying Safe During Heat Wave

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With temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley today, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urges customers to conserve energy use where possible, while not jeopardizing their health and safety.

“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their own health or the health of their pets,” General Manager Marcie Edwards said.

LADWP officials said energy demand on Thursday was the highest so far this year – 5,679 megawatts – and is expected to be about the same today. The all-time peak power demand was 6,396 megawatts, reached on Sept. 16, 2014. Power use in Los Angeles averages about 4,700 megawatts during the summer, and usually increases in late August through September. Read more »

City Aims to Cut Annual Traffic Deaths by 200

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More than 200 people die on LA streets each year, and most of those deaths happen on just six percent of streets.

Sitting at a desk in the middle of a Boyle Heights street, Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed an executive directive aimed at cutting traffic fatalities in the city to zero by 2025.

The directive calls for reaching the goal, dubbed “Vision Zero,” by creating safer streets, enforcing traffic laws and conducting more public education.

The mayoral action sets up a steering committee consisting of mayoral, police, fire, public works and county public health staff that will target areas most in need of safety upgrades. Those officials are to report back on Dec. 1 with suggestions for cutting traffic fatalities 20 percent by 2017. Read more »

Overcharged DWP customers would get tens of millions back under settlement

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It was hailed as a modern makeover of an aging, inefficient way to bill customers. Instead, the new system at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power became a nightmare, spewing out thousands of faulty bills, some wildly inflated.

When upset customers called the utility for help, many languished on hold for a half-hour or more.

Nearly two years later, the utility announced Monday that it would credit or refund tens of millions of dollars to customers who were overbilled during the botched rollout, under a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement between the utility and aggrieved customers.

In all, the department says it billed $44 million in excessive charges after the system went into effect. DWP Chief Administrative Officer David Wright said the utility has already refunded or credited some of the money, reducing the sum still owed customers to $36 million.

Under the settlement, customers who were overbilled will get credit for the excessive charges. If they have closed their accounts, they will be mailed refund checks.

The utility says the vast majority of the billing credits and refunds will be small — around $10 or less — but customers will be made whole no matter how small the error. And the money will be returned even if a customer didn’t know there was a mistake.

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