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San Pedro's Harbor Division Jail to Reopen within Three Years

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has promised to reopen San Pedro's jail at Harbor Division within three years. The jail closed due to an employee shortage that occurred during the recession. Beck plans to bring more officers to the Harbor Division, as announced at the Los Angeles Forum on Crime in San Pedro on February 4th.

For the first time in over ten years, crime rates have risen citywide. In 2015, property crimes went up by 10% and violent crime rates increased by 20%. In the Harbor Area, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, and Harbor Gateway, violent crimes have risen 34% and property crimes have risen 17%.

Many residents support the reopening of the jail, and some even criticized the three-year timeline as too long. Currently, there is a large disparity of police officer to resident ratios between Los Angeles and other large cities. Beck acknowledged that Los Angeles has less than 10,000 police officers, but 4 million residents, which calculates to about 25 officers to 10,000 residents. Cities like Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia have ratios around 45 officers per 10,000 people.

The United States has more incarcerated adult prisoners than any other country in the world. So, while reopening the prison may alleviate the rising crime rates in the Harbor Area, the rising prison population points to larger issues involving jail sentencing of criminal offenders.

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