Sgt. Krumer out, four new LAPD bike liaisons in

There are big changes under way in the way the LAPD deals with the bicycling community.

In a meeting last Thursday with departmental representatives and civilian members of the department’s Bike Task Force, as well a handful of other bike advocates/activists, former bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer and Operations Commander Matt Blake laid out the new program.

It was nearly three years ago that Sgt. Krumer was appointed to represent the LAPD in dealing with the L.A. bicycling community, at a time when relations were at a low point. Since then, his efforts, and that of the three Commanders he worked under, have lead to a turnaround that has helped make the LAPD the envy of cyclists around the nation.

Although it’s clearly far from perfect yet.

Now that Krumer has been transferred to the Devonshire Division — a lateral move that Streetsblog’s Damien Newton describes as a de facto (and I might add, well-deserved) promotion — he will not be replaced as the single point-man for cyclists who need help in dealing with the department.

Instead, four new bike liaisons have been selected, one for each of the four Traffic Divisions within the city. Each will have responsibility for issues that arise within their own division — and won’t deal with anything that occurs outside their jurisdiction.

The boundary lines for each of the four LAPD traffic divisions; bike liaisons can only assist with issues within their own division

For instance, if you have problem with an officer in the Central Traffic Division, the liaison from South Traffic won’t be able to help you, though they can refer you to someone who will.

Or as one officer put it during the meeting, the dividing line between the Valley and West Traffic Divisions runs right down the middle of Mulholland. So if you have a wreck there and would prefer to work with one division over the other, make sure you land on the right side of the road.

And the program is still in the process of being settled, as evidenced by the fact that two of the four liaisons are different from the officers named by the LADOT Bike Blog just a week earlier.

The new bike liaisons are:

  • Central Traffic Division:  Sgt. Laszlo Sandor        30124@lapd.lacity.org    213-972-1853
  • Valley Traffic Division:    Sgt. Steve Egan               26860@lapd.lacity.org    818-644-8146
  • West Traffic Division:      Sgt. Christopher Kunz  26315@lapd.lacity.org    213-473-0215
  • South Traffic Division:     Sgt. Jon Aufdemberg   31630@lapd.lacity.org    213-421-2588

You’d be wise to save their contact information. And program those phone numbers into the phone you carry when you ride.

All four have received bike patrol training, and are experienced traffic collision investigators. So they understand bicycling, and get that bikes — and bike riders — respond differently from motor vehicles in a crash.

As Cdr. Blake stated, though, the bike liaisons aren’t there to solve every problem you may have on your bike. If you object to the way you were treated by an officer, or how an incident was handled, you’re better off contacting the Watch Commander the officer works under — and doing it as quickly as possible following the incident, while there’s still time to do something about it.

The role of the four bike liaisons was defined by the department as:

  • Meet regularly with community members to hear concerns
  • Pass along concerns of the bicycling community to officers
  • Clarify police methods to the bicycling community
  • Conflict resolution between cyclists and motorists
  • Safety programs, such as Bike to School
  • Traffic stings at bike lanes and Bike Plan streets
  • Report to Commander Blake on city-wide issues

Meanwhile, Officer Jeff Kievit, who worked with Sgt. Krumer as part of the bike liaison program, will continue to work with Cdr. Blake on larger bike policy issues for the central Office of Operations.

And the Bike Task Force — made up of Blake, Kievit and other officers, alonge with representatives of the cycling community ranging from the LACBC, Bikeside and the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee to Midnight Ridazz, Eastside Bike Club and Major Motion — will continue to meet on a quarterly basis for the foreseeable future.

If you know of any additional bicycling organizations that should be included, contact Officer Kievit at 36898@lapd.lacity.org.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. And large areas of disagreement, such as the department’s policy on handcuffing cyclists who don’t pose a threat, and the use of force to stop riders who don’t follow police instructions to stop and dismount.

But we’re getting there.

It’s sometimes astounding to look back and consider just how far the department has come in dealing with the bicycling community, and how much attitudes towards the police have changed in just a few short years.

Hopefully, this new decentralized plan will continue to take us in the right direction, and provide even better responsiveness and service to L.A. cyclists and the larger community.

2 thoughts on Sgt. Krumer out, four new LAPD bike liaisons in

  1. I’ve always thought, but didn’t want to ruffle the wrong feathers, that complaining about cyclists being handcuffed was a waste of time and air – basically small potatoes. If a cyclist doesnt pull over they should be SAFELY apprehended and get cuffed. Drivers who dont pull over get cuffed all the time.

    Instead of worrying so much about cyclists getting cuffed, we need to CONCENTRATE on issues that affect law abiding cyclists’ safety on the streets everywhere which means finally finally getting the LAPD to hold drivers accountable for speeding and driving wrecklessly.

    I’ve said it time and time again during the task force meetings that LAPD needs to focus on the hit and run and speeding problem. Right now, I get calls every week from kids who get hit. SEVERAL times including my own collision, when a plate is recorded by witnesses, the cops for some reason do not simply run the plate and dispatch a unit to the perp’s house. WHY? In my own case, they could have run the plates on the night of and caught a drunk driver literally 2 miles from where I was hit. Instead they told me it would “take a couple a weeks” I’ve seen this same response no less than 8 times since happen to friends. VALUE-ABLE evidence is lost forever when the LAPD does nothing for days sometimes weeks to track down hit and run drivers.

    With this kind of lax attitude, drivers get the impression that they can operate with impunity and they do. Every year. The bicycle community needs to come together and fight for accountability of drivers in every corner of the public space. Drivers are operators of machines. They are operating under state privilege. Cyclists and pedestrians are operating under their RIGHT to be in the public space. That RIGHT needs to be protected and defended.

  2. I couldn’t have said it better, Roadblock. I agree with you 100%! Thank you for such a complete and articulate statement and Ted for highlighting how far we have come BUT what must be improved to protect people on bikes and pedestrians now and as we move forward. We must press for enforcement of traffic speeds, investigating bike collision and theft seriously, advocating lower vehicle speeds and education of cyclist AND motorist for the safety of all road users – peds, people on bikes and the motorist – the streets are public space and OUR rights MUST be protected.
    Thank you both for all you do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

What to Do When the LAPD Is Parked in a Bike Lane

|
Regardless of one’s feelings of the LAPD, it’s hard to argue that they’re not trying to become a more bike friendly law enforcement agency in recent years. From actively supporting group bike rides, to new internal policies and training regarding cyclists and cycling rights and even occasionally appearing at public hearings to testify in favor […]

Critical Mass Rides West, More Problems with “Escort”

|
(editor’s note: Nope, I wasn’t there this month.  This is all second-hand reporting.  Alex de Cordoba did attend the mass and offers a report on the ride and thoughts on how it can move forward at The Engaged Observer. – DN) Last Friday saw the fifth installment of the Los Angeles Critical Mass/ LAPD rides.  […]

What to Expect at Friday’s Critical Mass

|
Believe it or not, this was done with the officer’s consent. Photo: Digable Soul/Flickr Critical Mass has gone mainstream.  Following last month’s "Critical Mass Attack," where an officer was caught on tape kicking at cyclists’ bikes before the cameraman was tackled to the ground, it seems you can’t go anywhere without reading or discussing Critical […]