LAPD using thousands of officer hours to patrol downtown graffiti towers

Sid Garcia Image
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Securing tagged towers in downtown LA an expensive effort for city
Trying to stop taggers, base jumpers and vandals from entering an unfinished complex in downtown LA is costing the city thousands of officer hours.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- What to do with the so called "Graffiti Towers" located across the street from Arena?

They are already costing the LAPD and city of Los Angeles thousands of officer hours trying to keep people away.

At Tuesday's Los Angeles Police Commission meeting, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said "we spent more than 3,000 hours of our personnel at that site. It is, as you're well aware, a very large complex and it's taken up a number of police resources."

Moore adds that the department has made 18 arrests since they started patrolling the vacant buildings 24 hours a day. People have been trespassing - spray-painting graffiti on most floors of the three high-rise towers.

Others have even shot videos base jumping from the building.

A parachuter was seen jumping from a graffiti-covered high-rise building in Los Angeles. The skyscraper tower made recent headlines due to the excessive tagging.

Work on the structures stopped in October 2020. The China-based company that started building the Oceanview Plaza structures went bankrupt.

Moore says patrolling the towers have used up a lot of his department's resources.

"What we have done, when necessary, we have called in officers on an overtime basis so that we can provide added patrols and station them at that site to keep vandals from getting access to it."

The mayor wants the site cleaned up before someone is hurt or killed tagging the building or parachuting off of it.

The City Council passed a measure demanding the building owner start cleaning up the property by this Saturday. If the owner doesn't, the city plans to do the work itself and send a bill to the property owner.

"The owner of the building should be held accountable and he should reimburse the city for every dime that is spent," Mayor Karen Bass said.

But getting paid for that bill remains an uncertain prospect because of the developer's bankruptcy status.