The predicted cold weather didn't stop 40 residents from attending Monday morning, 16 Dec., at Sunland Starbuck's. Senior Lead Officer Cesar Contreras educated and kept rein on an unusually cranky crowd with about 20 new faces.
☼♫♥♪♥♫ GOOD NEWS REMINDER! ♫♥♪♥♫☼
Overall Sunland-Tujunga crime in 2019 is 18-20% below 2018!!
That's nearly a record throughout LA!
► Residents' loud concerns at the meeting included an unpermitted(?) halfway house in a residential neighborhood, alleged drug-houses not being rapidly shut down, teens and transients testing car-door handles, tweakers starting fights with students, our "criminally insane" drivers, and proliferation of marijuana shops.
☼ TO HELP US UNDERSTAND CRIME REPORTING, Officer Contreras made these points:
► To report most crimes, YOU MUST GO TO FOOTHILL STATION with all your available facts and make a formal report. For larger crimes, LAPD takes reports on site. You'll get a "DR Number" either way. Our phone calls to LAPD aren't "evidence." Your report is.
Each credible report gives you two benefits:
1) It PROVES to LAPD, City Council and its budget-meisters that we DO need more officers! Off. Contreras said, "This City runs on stats." Let's deliver them, factually and in person!
2) We inform LAPD which TYPES of crimes, and WHERE in S-T, need more attention.
► MYLA311 APP! When you're reporting a nuisance, more than a crime against person or property, MyLA311 is your best friend! Download it to your smartphone or PC, browse its 60+(!) categories, then USE IT to send addresses and photos to the automatically CORRECT City department.
☼☼ USE it for graffiti, couch on curb, homeless tents, problems at City parks, unpermitted construction, nuisance animals, illegal businesses or signage, illegal parking, busted guardrails and streetlights...you name it! You'll get a report number you can follow up. (We got a pothole fixed in 36 hours. Individual mileage may vary.)
► When the crime involves illegal use of PROPERTY—drug houses, squatters, storing stolen merchandise, rampant safety violations, too many inhabitants, yard camping—legal proceedings can take four years because a scofflaw owner can lose their property! Because that's so drastic, MANY court events precede that step. And owners' attorneys create imaginative reasons to get extensions (delays) from lenient judges.
► Today, the amount of proof required to convict a criminal in California and Los Angeles has risen alarmingly. Absent your video, the criminal's unauthorized DNA at the crime scene, or other hard proof, a criminal who is merely caught with your possessions might well go free.
►► OTHER GRIPES FROM RESIDENTS ◄◄
► Following Chief Park Ranger Albert Torres' regrettable death, homeless enforcement in Sunland Park has dropped. Tents are proliferating.
► LAPD's response to a 911 call reporting a man in the street with a shotgun took 10 minutes, according to one resident. Contreras said any call involving even a knife or axe is upgraded to an emergency response.
► Inadequate drug enforcement was perceived as a problem. Several asserted they had reported houses where drugs are sold day and night but saw no LAPD response. Officers often remind us that we're not *supposed to* see LAPD's covert surveillance!
☼ Eve Sinclair, our Council District 7 Deputy, announced two new speed humps had been installed and progress continues in homeless clean-ups.
►► SERVICE-RESISTANT HOMELESS ◄◄
...will gladly trade off our three months of cold and rain for 9 months of LA's four-star street living.
► An industrial warehouse in Van Nuys was converted to a 200-person homeless facility. When it failed LA City's "habitation standards," the homeless were returned to the dubious "habitation standards" of LA's streets.
► The Fight for Civilization lost a round when the US Supreme Court refused to review a Boise, ID, case limiting homeless sleeping on sidewalks. LA County has 50,000 homeless but not even half that number of beds.
► Tony Wilkinson, long knowledgeable in LA City government, says LA isn't enforcing existing laws. In the past, we've heard that Mayor Garcetti has ordered certain vagrancy laws NOT be enforced. Regardless, LAPD cannot seize people's belongings, so homeless stay on sidewalks except for occasional short-lived clean-ups.
☼► Officer Contreras reiterated his FREQUENT point: If dissatisfied with any officer's follow-through, go over their head and contact Foothill Div execs. "We all report to somebody. We all get performance reviews."
Let's just all keep all our communications 1,000% truthful!
Attached is our N/W meeting schedule plus very handy LAPD phone numbers! Print it. Save it! Wear it out!
Love youse guys! You're the BEST!
Jon von Gunten
STNC Rep to LAPD Neighborhood Watch