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::: Crime & Safety :::

Lucille Mozena
Steve Mozena

Dear Neighbor:

As the mother of a four-year-old girl, I am extremely concerned about crime and public safety. 

Protecting our children, our senior citizens and all other law-abiding residents is a high priority for me.

We need to do everything we can to support our police department. 

I also support tough sentencing laws that will send criminals to jail and keep them there.


Lucille Mozena


Dear Fellow Carsonite:

Crime and public safety are important issues for me. In Carson, we can be pleased that the crime rate has been falling steadily since 2002. However, the reality is that our city still has higher crime rates than the national average in most categories, including murder, robberies, about 30% higher than national average, aggravated assaults, approximately 25% higher, motor vehicle thefts, approximately 20% higher. We have less crime than Long Beach but considerably more than Torrance, for the statistics, see the website at http://carson.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm

So on issues of crime and public safety we have some things to feel optimistic about, and others which should arouse our concern.

I'd like to share with you my ideas for curbing crime and improving homeland security at a national level. Like many ordinary American citizens, I am deeply concerned about the dangers this country faces from enemies within and without.

I hope the ideas I share here may make you think or re-think about solutions to the problems facing our country regarding crime and terrorism.

Unfortunately, in the American legal and justice system, criminals win and victims lose.

My heart cries and bleeds for the victims of violent crimes in our country, and I become angry when I see the criminal justice system so often letting the guilty go free. We must stop this. It is the criminals who should lose, not the victims. I am fortunate in that I have never had a close friend or relative be a victim of a violent crime, but I have read about it, seen it on the TV news, and heard people who have been victims talk about it. The nightmare experience remains with them forever; they never get over it, unlike the criminal who too often is a) never caught, b) given too light a sentence c) paroled or released too early.

These are my suggestions:

A DNA sample should be taken from all convicted criminals from this point forward. This will be an enormous step forward in solving crime, since so many criminals are repeat offenders. It will reduce the number of serial killers on the loose, and will cut down on the number of unsolved crimes. Twenty-four states already take DNA samples from criminals. Those that do not must be strongly encouraged to do so.

Connect all law enforcement crime computers, including FBI, state, county and local police departments. How many criminals find it too easy to escape detection by crossing state lines and continuing to live their lives as if nothing had happened? We have seen in the report of the 9/11 commission how dire can be the consequences of having federal agencies that do not communicate with each other. I believe that a similar situation pertains to tracking and solving crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery within the United States.

Encourage media entrepreneurs to create a 24-hour mainstream crime channel to root out all criminals, from murderers to the local rapists and sexual predators, to the armed robbers and even suspected terrorists. Unfortunately, there's enough material for this proposed crime channel from all the law enforcement agencies across the country. Given the success of shows like "Missing" and "America's Most Wanted" and the success of the Amber Alert road signs for abducted children, this Crime Channel would, I believe, prove even more successful. Moreover, I'd like to see, throughout the day, not only photographs of missing persons, but also, as in the old Wild West, "Wanted" posters: photos of criminals still at large, preferably with a bounty on their heads.

If there had been a 24-hour crime channel, it is likely that Shawn Hornbeck, the fifteen-year-old boy who was missing for four years in Missouri but was found this January would have been found earlier. He lived in an apartment complex and plenty of people in St. Louis saw him regularly. He was not imprisoned inside all the time. 

The same was true of Elizabeth Smart, the girl from Utah who was kidnapped in 2002 and found nine months later. She was also seen on more than one occasion, walking down the street with her abductors.

We need to do much, much more to find missing children. There are hundreds of these children, and the recent Missouri and Utah cases give hope that many of them may be alive. A Crime Channel would help keep their cases in the public eye.

Perhaps also, a Crime Channel might lead to a breakthrough in the still unsolved murder here in Carson of Dwayne Jackson. Dwayne was shot to death in the street outside his Carson home more than five years ago, at the age of 14. Just last week, in mid-February, Dwayne's mother, Jackie Jackson, and his twin, Denisha, and the San Pedro-based group Justice for Murdered Children passed out fliers seeking help in finding the killer and announcing $50,000 in reward money, see the Daily Breeze for more information.

Although Social Security numbers and cards were never intended to be used as part of a national ID system, SS numbers are in fact already used as one, from college ID numbers to security information for your credit card. It is time to accept this and make some necessary adaptations. I propose that all Social Security cards should carry a photograph and fingerprints. This ID system should be extended to everyone, including babies and children. All children, from the moment of birth, should have fingerprints, thumbprints, and footprints taken and identification cards issued. Think how this would help find missing and abducted children.

If everyone in the nation has an ID card with that information on it, it will make it that much easier for police to do their work when people go missing. For children, the photo should be updated every year. This could be done in the schools. For adults, the photo should be renewed along with Drivers' license at least every four years. All the information should be entered into a computer database with an easy search function. Fingerprints will then be at your fingertips via a computer database.

DMV in all states must require an updated photo with all drivers' license renewals because people color their hair, gain weight, lose hair and so forth. Fingerprints should also be required, and at some point eye prints also. The patterns in the iris, the colored area around the pupil, are individual and impossible to duplicate, making them a virtually foolproof way of checking identity.

All visitors to the United States should be issued with a United States' Traveler's Card, containing photograph and fingerprints, and at some point an eye print, which they would be required to carry with them at all times, just as people are required to carry their driver's license when behind the wheel. It is not enough just to take fingerprints of visitors at the port of entry. We will not tolerate rogues and terrorists in our country moving around underneath the law enforcement screen.

These measures will greatly increase homeland security and make the work of law enforcement and immigration officials much easier. We all have enough to worry about in our daily lives without also being burdened with the feeling of insecurity in our homes and as we travel.

Make it a priority to eliminate homelessness. Being homeless drives some people to crime. Homelessness in this country was not a large problem until the 1980s. The fact that now, nearly 20 years later, it is still a major problem is a national disgrace. Unfortunately, criminals are able slip under the radar screen and assimilate into this crowd of unfortunates. We need to create homeless housing that low-income people can afford and encourage the building of clean, safe shelters for the homeless. This does not have to involve government money. We could enlist Hollywood's help. There have been a number of recent initiatives by movie stars to help the homeless, and these should be supported and extended. Also, law enforcement should be empowered to take homeless people to shelters if warranted. No one should have to or choose to live on the streets.

I believe that the measures I have outlined will help to reduce crime and terrorism, and make every American citizen safer.


Steve Mozena

Mr. Mozena successfully undertook initial training to become a police officer with L.A.P.D. and passed both written and oral tests.