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L.A. City Councilman: Call in Paps Cops

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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OH, SNAP Corralling the shooters (Photo: Getty Images) Britney Spears might finally bring the cops vs. paps war to a head in L.A.

L.A. City Councilman Dennis P. Zine wants to build a paparazzi space bubble—and not just around celebrities but the foot and car traffic, emergency care facilities, homes, and businesses they bunch up like a cheap thong. His law would create "safety zone of clear space that would protect public safety," according to his recent city council proposal. And it would consider requiring celebrity photographers to apply for licenses. If they were found to be violating the space bubble, they'd lose their license, and the money they made off of the photos would be forfeited, though it's unclear yet to whom. City staff are expected to take the proposed ordinance to committee by March 1.

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"The straw that broke the camel's back is the $24,000 we spent to escort an L.A. City ambulance to the hospital," Zine tells Radar. "I'm not infringing upon the right to take a picture," he adds, nor is he looking to pass a law to single out celebrities for special protection. the goal, he says, is to give cops a tool to control the renegade shooters. "I'm concerned about the impact they have on the general public." Zine was an L.A.P.D. motorcycle patrol coordinator, and he still serves as a reserve cop. "It's not only costly," he says of the new horde, "It's hazardous and unacceptable."

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