Parris: Lancaster is an absolutely safe city

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris speaks Wednesday at a press conference held by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to discuss the drop in crime.

LOS ANGELES – Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris joined Sheriff Lee Baca and executive members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Wednesday for a press conference to discuss the latest crime statistics, which reflect an overall drop in crime for Los Angeles County.

At the news conference, the City of Lancaster was recognized for its dramatic reduction in crime rates for 2011. There were three homicides in 2011, compared to 18 in 2006.

Additionally, there were no gang-related homicides in Lancaster in 2011, compared to eight in 2006.

Parris, who spoke at the press conference, described how the community pulled together to transform a bleak, crime-ridden city into a place where, for the first time, “citizens aren’t afraid to walk the streets.”

The following are excerpts of Parris’ remarks at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s press conference Wednesday:

On crime in Lancaster five years ago:

“Imagine a city five years ago where, in several neighborhoods, police officers wouldn’t go in alone. I mean, two would not go in, it took four to go in. Where people would drive home [from] work and there would be toll booths erected, meaning they would block off the street and charge people to be able to go to their home…”

The sound of gunfire was everywhere. It was not a night gone by where you did not hear gunfire in the streets of Lancaster…

On turning things around

“Five years ago, the Sheriff and I had a conversation, and it was ‘Sheriff, if you would create innovative new ways to deal with this, we promise you the community will support you.’

He looked at me like he looks at every politician, [like] ‘you know I’ve heard that before…’

But then he came to a town hall meeting, and there were three thousand people there who were telling him ‘yes, we will support you…’”

On Lancaster’s 2011 crime rate

“We have a city of 145,000 people, [yet] we had a crime rate higher than Compton’s five years ago. We did not have one gang-related shooting or murder the entire year [2011], not one.

That is historic. It is unbelievable to us… not one homicide with a gun.

Now I don’t know if you folks have been to Lancaster, but we all have five or six guns. That’s the way we are up there.

It is truly phenomenal. But let’s be clear how that happened: it was supporting the Sheriff. It was when something went wrong, not criticizing him of what happened that was wrong. It was how do we do it better next time?

It was absolute confidence and faith and love for Sheriff Baca. And that whole City loves him, because he saved it.

The lesson is, if we do this together, as a supportive group, instead of looking to cast blame when something goes wrong, look what happens.

For the first time, our citizens aren’t afraid to walk the streets. They’re not afraid to walk downtown. It is an absolutely safe city. We owe that to the Sheriff. [To Baca] thank you!”

View the entire press conference below. Parris’ remarks start at the 13:30 mark.

View the preliminary reported crime statistics for Lancaster here. View the entire report (more than 100 pages) for the LASD area here.

  9 comments for “Parris: Lancaster is an absolutely safe city

  1. Paul
    January 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    There wasn’t one gang related homicide? LASD is the BIGGEST gang in LA County and last I heard they’ve killed quite a few people in the AV last year. The Sheriff is a joke and City Hall is blowing smoke up our [removed].

  2. Stinger
    January 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Good questions, Ace!

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for an answer to that last one, though…

  3. AV Town Crier
    January 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Crime is off the street and IN City Hall.
    And Stinger, you are absolutely correct. It was Bob LaSala who reversed crime in Lancaster, not King Rex riding into to town on a pale horse. But, it’s election time.

  4. Stinger
    January 12, 2012 at 7:55 am

    The corner was already turned well before Parris even thought of running for mayor. The corner was turned before he came up with that fake “War on Gangs” B.S. show (it was NEVER a REAL nonprofit entity, check with the IRS) to launch his campaign for mayor.

    Who turned that corner? Why, the very guy that Parris and his good ol’ boys had fired: Bob LaSala! Yep. It was Bob LaSala who got the sudden major increase in sheriff’s deputies in place and trained before he was attacked by Parris, Ron Smith, Frank Visco, and James Gilley – the same guy, by the way, who actually had our deputies CUT while he was the city manager!

    And now Parris wants the credit for everybody else’s work. Whatta guy!

  5. jo
    January 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Does this guy just make up things he thinks will sound good? I’ve been out and about for years and have never seen what Rex is talking about. And I guess the gunfire we hear now is what? The sheriffs?

    • Jo Mama
      January 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Where exactly is Parris taking credit for anything? he is giving the credit to Sheriff Lee Baca.

      • Stinger
        January 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

        Oh puh-leeze! Parris has been claiming credit for anything and everything that is even remotely good happening in Lancaster, whether he had even the slightest involvement or not, since he stole his way into office the first time.

        • Mike Lackey
          January 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

          Obsess much? the only things you ever comment on are those that have to do with Parris.

          • Stinger
            January 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            What’s your point?

Comments are closed.