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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

LA Implementing New Hit And Run Alert

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to pass an initiative to help bring down the number of hit-and-runs in the city. 

Over 7,500 hit and run crimes involving serious bodily injury or death occured in Los Angeles in 2014. Of those crimes, only 20% are solved. 

"80% of hit and runs remain unsolved," said Councilmember Mitchell Englander. "We’re going to change that moving forward today."

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to approve new measures aimed at stopping hit and runs. The new system will send push notifications to people in the area of a hit and run and post information about the suspect on social media. 

"We need all eyes and ears in the city of Los Angeles to be our partners and help us solve these crimes," said Englander. 

The Medina system is already in use in Colorado, where it has helped to curb hit-and-run statistics. 

"Since we’ve implemented the Medina Alert program," said Larry Stevenson, the creator of the Medina Alert system. "We’ve seen here not only in Denver but now the state of Colorado, a tremendous positive growth in terms of solvability."

In 2013, Damian Kevitt was hit by a car while riding his bike in Griffith Park. The car dragged him a quarter of a mile on to the 5-Freeway where he was left for dead. 

"My right ankle was deboned with bones left on the road by the accident," said Kevitt. "So there wasn’t really much they could do to try and save it. It was crushed, it was pulverized."

Now, 2 years after the accident, Kevitt showed his support for the new alert system on the steps of City Hall. 

"Hit-and-run is in that stage where it’s just obviously prevalent," said Kevitt. "And people think it's acceptable because of the stats, but its not."

Having survived a hit-and-run himself, he says he now wants to make sure no one else ever has to experience what he went through. 

"The number of people that I’ve touched and the lives that I’ve definitely saved as a result of the campaign and as a result of what I had to go through," said Kevitt, "that’s something to be proud of."


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