Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 28, 2017

Capt Daniel Beringer, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was promoted to Captain in 2016 and assigned to the Lomita Sheriff’s Station. He joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1986 after graduation from CSU Long Beach, and served at Lomita Sheriff’s Station, followed by several other assignments in the Sheriff’s Department. The Lomita Sheriff’s Station provides law enforcement services to the cities of Lomita, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and adjacent unincorporated communities . At any one time there are 4-7 officers on patrol in the area.

California criminal law changed in 2014 to allow early release of state prisoners to city/county jails (to alleviate overcrowding in prisons). Many felonies such as drug crimes were reduced to misdemeanors. Little support was provided for homelessness and mental illness. Confinement became a revolving door with less penalties, and property crimes such as shoplifting and theft from vehicles increased. Crime spiked and then leveled off, but is now increasing again, although the Lomita Sheriff’s Station has the 3rd lowest crime rate in Los Angeles County. License plate cameras help to detect stolen cars and wanted suspects. Surveillance cameras also help identify suspects. More helicopters are used now, and a team of detectives works undercover to solve and prevent crimes.

Capt Beringer spoke about preventive measures for property crimes (burglars like easy targets). Simple precautions include clearing overgrown shrubs near the home, and verifying that windows and doors are secure and that external lighting works and is sufficient. Motion detector lighting is helpful in detecting intruders. Don’t keep tempting items visible in parked vehicles, and always lock vehicles when parked outside. Stop newspaper delivery when absent, and coordinate with trusted neighbors to watch the home. House numbers should be clearly visible from the street for emergency responders.

Motion-detection cameras can connect to a Wi-Fi router for easy installation. Two-way sound communication helps when a visitor is at the door. Night vision video can help identify people and vehicles. Cameras can have features allowing the view to move and zoom. Active camera systems can send alerts to smart phones and can even be viewed remotely. Capt Beringer passed out a homeowners guide brochure for better home and neighborhood security, and a home security assessment checklist.