San Pedro: Three Community Problems This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 17, 2017
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San Pedro, a small community amongst many in the Los Angeles city area. Known for its once dominant fishing community and working class, several problems plague the community. Ranging from mass homelessness, a rising crime rate, and pollution of public facilities, San Pedro has seen better days in comparison to today.

 

Starting from the year of 2015, there has been an ongoing crisis of increased homelessness amongst the community of San Pedro. In previous years, the homeless population was sizeable, but contained. It was existent, but not previously discussed on the spotlight. However, progress has been known to be quite slow. There are so many homeless to a point where the downtown area never “sleeps” at night. Encampments could be seen in broad daylight, especially near several government-run establishments. Crime is rampant amongst these various encampments. Public fighting, defecation, drug dealing, and drug use have been witnessed near these sites. Law enforcement are stuck policing these areas through much of the day, leaving many other areas of San Pedro vulnerable. Addressing this problem would further curb the rising crime rate within San Pedro. Not only are everyday transients seen, homeless families are present in this group. Children as well as young adults are prevalent within these encampments. If I were mayor, shelters must be expanded, as well as building low-income housing which could put many of these people within houses. The current costly, and slow resolution, will most likely not address the problem or have any profound effect for several years until completion. Expanding the shelters will help fix the problem for the short-term, but building low-income housing areas would address the problem for the long-term.

 

In accordance to the rising homeless population in San Pedro, the crime rate has also seen a considerable increase. Many from the public have blamed the local Police Department on the issue. According to the police department, only 5 police cruisers are available to patrol the San Pedro area which is approximately 11 square miles. If an arrest should occur, the police cruiser would have to travel to the South LA area for processing, leaving the cruiser gone for approximately 4 to 5 hours. This hard situation has left the cruisers with the difficult choice, arrest a felon and leave the community at risk during their absence, or lower the amount of arrests total. The low manpower from the police department results from much of the manpower being diverted to higher crime areas such as South LA. This effect however has backfired in areas such as San Pedro where manpower cuts were too large. If I were mayor, the police force would doubled to 10 cruisers with 5 to arrest and 5 to patrol. The situation would be much better. Daily, around 3-6 arrests are made per day within San Pedro. Offering up to 5 police cruisers to handle these would easily stem the overflow.

Aside from the issues of mass homelessness and the rising crime rate, many facilities open to the public of San Pedro are infested with high levels of pollution. Examples of these public facilities include beaches and parks. At the beach, the pollution has affected the water in some areas. Many locals in San Pedro who frequent the beaches know which areas are safe enough to swim in, and others not. In areas where it isn’t safe, the water is very polluted. Dead fish can be seen, and the water is indeed very murky and not pleasing to swim into. At the park's, many items of debris can be found in the dried up ponds. Overall, the public has to deal with the immense levels of pollution in areas dedicated to the public. If I were mayor, several solutions could be combined for best effect of addressing this problem. Firstly, educating the public on the importance of dumping their trash effectively would certainly bring awareness to the existent problem. At the same time, discussing this problem within the city council would bring awareness amongst the top government leaders of San Pedro of the problem. Having leadership well aware of the problem itself would greatly aid in organizing solution efforts. Organizing volunteer efforts to clean said facilities would also greatly help. It would attract the attention of various volunteering-oriented clubs and organizations from the local schools. A combination of public awareness and diverting volunteer resources as well as creating volunteer opportunities to address this problem would effectively bring attention and care to address it.

Three dominant problems exist within San Pedro, a rising population of homeless, a rising crime rate, and immense levels of pollution found amongst the public facilities. If I were mayor, several resolutions would be passed. By expanding shelters and building low-income housing areas, the homeless population could be curbed from an increasing rate to a decreasing rate. Expanding the police force present at San Pedro would help address the rising crime rate due to manpower shortages within law enforcement. Bringing public awareness towards pollution of public facilities, as well as organizing volunteer events would be crucial for resolving the pollution problem. Resources currently found within San Pedro would have to be reassigned or redesignated to their respective areas to help address these problems.






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