Mayor appoints Alan Skobin to Fire Commission
Reaction to criticism of department’s response times
The City Council confirmed the appointment of a nine-year Police Commission veteran to the Fire Commission, a move the mayor said will help bolster confidence in the fire department.
"I am confident that Alan Skobin will provide valuable public safety insight to the Board of Fire Commissioners,'' Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement in response to the council's action.
"With a record of more than 40 years of community and civic service, including nine years as a Los Angeles Police Commissioner, Mr. Skobin has the public safety expertise to further advance the goals of the Fire Commission and the Los Angeles Fire Department.''
Villaraigosa appointed Skobin to the Fire Commission in March as part of a series of steps he said would restore the Fire Department's reputation after criticism arose about its reporting of response times.
In addition to Skobin's appointment, the mayor announced the creation of a director of data position at the LAFD to provide a fresh assessment of the department's response times. He also ordered six ambulances returned to service and allocated about $5 million to replace an aging part of the department's dispatch system.
Skobin was first appointed to the Police Commission by then-Mayor James K. Hahn in 2003 and was the only commissioner kept on the board by Villaraigosa when he took office in 2005.
Skobin is vice president and general counsel at Galpin Motors.
A statistics expert who is auditing the Los Angeles Fire Department’s data analysis told the Fire Commission that response times supplied by LAFD officials cannot be trusted, in part because of software problems.
Jeff Godown’s audit stems from an assignment he was given in March by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to help the LAFD establish a CompStat-type management system similar to the one set up in 2002 at the Los Angeles Police Department by then-Chief William Bratton, who had successfully used such a system to map crime and police responses in New York City.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Authorities urged Southlanders to be diligent in preparing for emergencies, as the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack approaches.
“September is National Preparedness Month, which was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the United States,” Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks said they want to keep the city’s controversial red light traffic camera program alive for another year in order to assess its public safety value and consider how to make it work financially.
The councilmembers introduced a motion asking the Police Commission to keep the program’s operator, American Traffic Solutions, on a month-to-month contract for up to one year.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The City Council voted 9-1 today to create an inspector general position to help fix the city’s poorly performing billing and collections processes, which cause the city to lose tens of millions of dollars per year in badly needed revenue.
The new position will be filled by an existing city employee—who will work inside the City Administrative Office—to get the effort under way as quickly as possible.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Thousands of people lined the streets of South Los Angeles for the 26th annual Kingdom Day Parade, themed "Working together, we can make the dream come true.''
More than 3,000 participants, including marching bands, drill teams, dance groups and equestrian units, took part in Southern California's largest King Day observance.