IN SEPTEMBER, SOME 40 PEOPLE ATTENDED MORNING NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEETINGS in Sunland or Tujunga, and/or the "Combined S-T & Nearby" evening meeting. (See attached schedule.)
☼ IMPORTANT! ☼ — Tuesday morning's TUJUNGA Neighborhood Watch meeting at McDonald's is CANCELED due to officer training. ☼
► CRIME STATS ◄
Even though Shadow Hills suffered a shooting (parties knew each other), S-T is winning the war against serious—"Part I"—crimes like homicides and assaults: ☼ Sunland dropped 22% below last year
☼ Tujunga dropped 19% below last year
EVEN SO...the FREQUENT and COSTLY "Part II" (usually less violent) crimes like home and vehicle break-ins are rising and should make us self-protective. LAPD Officer Cesar Contreras, Sunland/Shadow Hills Senior Lead, published this reminder in SHPOA's Newsletter:
"Lately we have been experiencing an increase in residential burglaries in the Shadow Hills community. These crimes are occurring during daytime hours and usually are committed by forced entry either through the rear or side window/door of the residence. We have been deploying extra patrols in the neighborhood..."
S-T probably has 10-12 crimes per week, mostly break-ins to vehicles, followed in frequency by home violence. Nearby Sun Valley, much smaller at 5 square miles, has many more.
WE—all of us—are the critical factor in early reporting so police respond before serious crimes occur. As an example of local participation, Foothill now has 15 Volunteer Community Patrol (VCP) members whose hours in the street keep uniformed officers on patrol.
There were unverified reports of a drug house operating on Wheatland, and a taco truck distributing. Criminals usually perpetrate their crimes through many Foothills towns.
Business, landlord and resident complaints came in about loud, ongoing late-night street parties and peel-outs at Valmont & Samoa. The church there is trying to build a wall to discourage gatherings.
Our LAPD officers often employ polite "home visits" to registered addresses of license plates reported/videoed as traffic offenders. If you see something, record something—if you can do it SAFELY! Officer Caloca introduced a new-to-S/T LAPD officer who will be shadowing her and learning our community.
► Endless Homeless? ◄
Some local homeless find housing, but a list of sane proposals went down in flames last week when yelling protesters intimidated LA City Council to table measures from its own Homelessness & Poverty Committee. These regs weren't overly strict. They suggested limits on homeless incursions into parks, sidewalks, paths, under bridges, pugnacious panhandling, and sleeping near schools and daycare centers.
Even though Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez sits on the Homeless Committee that drafted these sensible measures, City Council postponed the vote rather them than be yelled at. Has LA become a "decibelocracy," ruled by the loudest and rudest?
Starting October 1, LAPD may forcibly remove encampments in High Fire Danger areas, thanks to a new reg sparked by Rodriguez.
As a microcosm of our vagrancy issues, one local man lived in his car, then a tent, now a lean-to. His "friends"—who parasite his monthly check—dissuade him from City services. "HOPE" teams are specially trained LAPD officers who accompany and protect social workers. They're now deemed "too intimidating" to the homeless to help clean out the wash. One resident is exploring with County officials the possibility of using nearly deserted Metropolitan State Hospital in Downey for homeless medical and psych care.
Even though LAPD cannot arrest someone for being homeless, if vagrants behave badly officers may visit the area to create a police presence and make them wary of committing crimes.
► Rolling Blunder ◄
Illegally parked RVs/motorhomes remain an issue by constantly moving when their tires are marked. One officer said, "Some tires have so many chalk marks, they look like clock dials." Tujunga has more RVs than encampments. Many come from Glendale to avoid that city's stricter laws. Few are overnighters passing through. One truck that habitually mis-parks has big "eye" in back.
To pick up abandoned vehicles, call 311 not LAPD. ToRepeatThisYetAgain, we should all download the MyLA311 app for efficient reporting. This creates a City record for the plate number to be towed.
► Overnight Parking: Never? Sometimes? Any Time? ◄
LA's Red, Yellow and Green Zone system to designate permissible overnight sleeping hours is under constant change and infrequent Web updates. As a very broad rule, unless you're in an industrial zone or on a large thoroughfare, no one can sleep overnight in a vehicle on your street. Posted parking laws also apply.
► Local Officials ◄
Eve Sinclair, Deputy to Councilwoman Rodriguez, says access roads into Hansen Dam are being smoothed and widened for emergency access. Emergency services have also instituted a numbered grid system for maps in rural areas. These replace uncertain navigation by poorly marked street names and landmarks.
Deputy Art García-Mendoza of California Assemblymember Luz Rivas' office has several times offered their help with DMV difficulties. For troubles while on a freeway, he reminded us to use a call box or call 511 to reach Freeway Service Patrol (FSP), a FREE service by private tow trucks!
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