Neighborhood Watch Notes of 20 February 2024

Posted on 03/05/2024

19 attended this public meeting held at Joselito’s Mexican Food, 10:30am, just in time to enjoy Taco Tuesday! 

LAPD Sunland Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Wil Godoy ([email protected]) and temporary Tujunga SLO Ester Alvarado ([email protected]) convened the meeting. Their sergeant Jesse Ojeda attended and spoke. CD7's Ricardo Flores came and spoke.

(This meeting occurred two days before a recent Tujunga homicide, so that event is not included in these stats.)


SLO Godoy reported a welcome string of dropping crime stats:

Rape and Homicide: -100%▼

Robbery: -50%▼

Total Violent crimes: -33%▼

Burglary from motor vehicles: -72%▼

Personal Theft: -54%▼

Total Property Crimes: -43%▼


↑↑OUR BIGGEST ISSUE is now Grand Theft Auto: UP +42%!

A primary cause is unlocked and unattended vehicles which invite thieves two ways! They reach in to carry off your laptop or purse. Key fobs left in vehicles—Yes, people really do that!—fuel what LAPD calls the "Foothill Self-Service Taxi"! Local TV news covered TWO such events in LA:

  • A big rig was destroyed by fire after a criminal stole it when the trucker stopped for a pee break.
  • A father making meal deliveries lost his van AND HIS INFANT SON to a car thief for several hours after Dad left the engine running during a delivery. (Kid is fine. Dad still sleeping on couch!)


SLO Godoy explained LAPD's two levels of clean-ups for the unhoused.

  • "CARE+" is always preferred and is the more extensive cleanup. It gives campers 72 hours' notice to relocate and take belongings. City Sanitation then arrives to remove remaining trash and hazardous materials, sweep, and power wash.
  • A regular cleanup delivers shorter notice and less extensive cleaning. Rains might cause a CARE+ event to revert to a regular cleanup.


Sunland Park:

  • SLO Godoy reported that park staff Nichole and Astrid, LAPD, CD7 and residents have accomplished almost a complete cleanup.
  • But, because this is a dynamic target, WE need to visit the park frequently and promote its frequent use to discourage returning campers!
  • One Sunland Park transient was allowed some leeway as she is suffering terminal illness, but is now in the hospital. She had refused housing many times but was friendly and compliant. Good luck to her!


"The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained..."

► One camper at Home Depot agreed to housing, then refused her ride when it arrived!

► A new Coco’s camper has been offered—and WAS ONCE HOUSED IN—free housing but walked away! S/he continually gets offers of services and housing. Has no open warrants.

► Yet, SLO Godoy reminded us it's not necessarily safe to approach campers with offers of help.



Tujunga SLO Ester Alvarado reports Tujunga's GTAs and thefts from vehicles were up a little. And yet again, MOST are from people leaving keys in vehicles or the engine running.‍️


La Tuna Canyon & Verdugo Golf Course:

Many City agencies are ongoingly involved in this effort. As of this meeting, 80% of previous trash is gone and one RV remains on private property.


► If you see a cleanup in progress, IT IS NOT HELPFUL to stop and query LAPD or City employees about what’s happening. Feel free to watch silently and video from afar.


► At home, do not leave windows or sliding doors even partially open unless they're mechanically "stopped" against further opening. Don't risk belongings and personal safety!


► LAPD needs every resident's help stop illegal dumping, especially in areas already afflicted with that plague. USE MyLA311 app to report! When officers report dumping, they notice how many residents have, or haven't, reported it first.



We had all hoped Los Angeles Municipal Code, Section 41.18—outlawing camping that blocks  public access—would help clean up areas more than it has. That violation is only an "Administrative Citation," not an arrest or warrant. The number of 41.18 arrests vary greatly across the City. Please look up a new City study alleging 41.18 is nearly useless for some areas.


Residents asked why so many homeless rebelliously refuse help and/or leave their housing. LAPD's 160-person Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) is often helpful. But VOTE for candidates that reflect your experience in these matters. CA's latest propositions took away courts' threat of jail for dealers, so there is no "hammer" to force them into treatment. During election run-up, Mayor Bass told of her ambitious recruiting goals for LAPD. These aren't being met.



► FIRST, the good news: Foothill has approval for one more SLO! S/he will not have a geographic assignment, but will concentrate on the topic of  unhoused—learning the changing laws, rules, and procedures, then training other officers, and handling problem situations.


► Separately, though Foothill staff may sometimes move from patrol to SLO to front desk and back—and we will temporarily lose officers during riots, bad situations and VIP visits—Sgt. Ojeda reassures us Foothill's priority is to always have ample officers assigned to response and patrol.


► Yes, there ARE foreign gangs, mainly South and Central American, hitting LA. Not a large problem in Foothill. Some struck the Cabrini area, and recent pharmacy burglaries seem very well organized. Little is known about them. Merchants, harden your defenses!


► There has been a rash of stolen Kias, mostly in Pacoima, but a fix is available at dealers.

► A 2023 law forbids recyclers from buying catalytic converters from anyone but the vehicle owner.


► A passerby looking into cars and trying door handles DOES MERIT a 911 call.

Officer Caloca should  return to duty in a few months.

A resident near Lowell wants a paint line solution to In-N-Out's traffic lines. Officer Caloca long ago met with Glendale PAID and both requested a solution from City of Glendale, who is still staring into space. CD7's Ricardo Flores said he'd pursue this on a City-to-City level.


► Will a Burbank vehicle chase, for instance, get help from Foothill or Hollywood Divisions? Different organizations almost never mix pursuits due to differing training, tactics, procedures and equipment. But Foothill detectives have solid relations with neighboring counterparts.

▬ For example, every Tuesday at 9AM there's a Crime Control Meeting where info is shared. A "Suspicious Activity Report" covers concerns that may become crimes.

▬ Occasionally, there has been an overreaction. The non-criminal who wore a Kevlar vest to Vons excited neighbors, social media and officers.

Hallelujah! It was just a vest.


RICARDO FLORES, CD7 Senior Area Representative [email protected]

Ricardo has 15-16 years in public service and is regularly seen at local meetings. He congratulates SLOs Alvarado and Godoy on their helpfulness to community. Says the In-N-Out geography is Tricky because part of Lowell is Glendale and part is LA.

☼ Stand by for Speed Hump Season which starts 21 March at 9AM. More to come on this! ☼

Some traffic light timing and left-turn timings are off and need to be restudied.

Additional pedestrian-activated signals will be done.

The firefighter-activated stoplight at Tujunga's Fire Station #74 is at last fully operational!

Johanna and Sunland will also get a horse crossing, as will Wentworth.


► And why won’t City Sanitation pick up everything at a pickup site?

Because, years ago, one apartment remodeler temporarily placed all furniture items on the sidewalk. CitySan dutifully carted them all away! A large kerfuffle here ensued! Now they will ONLY pick up what’s actually on your list!


CD7's Arthur Javadyan, Area Representative, is a case worker who will continue to take on greater responsibilities.


COME TO TIP-A-COP on 14 March, 11AM at Joselito’s. Please support and donate to LAPD's Special Olympics campaign!!


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