Neighborhood Watch Notes, 17 Jan 23
21 ATTENDEES heard the latest news and asked pointed questions—which our men and women in blue heartily welcomed!
Tujunga's Temporary Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Wil Godoy [email protected]is for now taking over till SLO Gloria Caloca returns. He said he's very glad to be in this beautiful, relatively low-crime, and high-participation community! Welcome!!
Sunland SLO Diana Figueroa [email protected] said 2-3 recent burglary arrests should reduce frequency of those crimes there. She is working with CD7 on homeless matters and progress is visible.
Officer Figueroa clarified strengths and weaknesses of newly enhanced LAMC 41.18. 41.18 forbids lying, sitting, sleeping or storing within 500' of "sensitive sites" like schools, daycares, etc. But it is a public access and right-of-way law, NOT an anti-homeless law. Simply because it affects the unhoused more than others does not make it "anti-homeless."
Violation of 41.18 is NOT an arrestable offense. When campers violate 41.18, social workers, CD7 staff and LAPD first offer common-sense persuasion, shelter, and anti-drug services. If violators are still noncompliant, a string of citations ensue. An arrest warrant is only issued IF a camper has committed arrestable crimes.
LA now has a "Homeless Court" where unhoused can claim poverty and be excused from fines. But that court is not the "free pass" it's sometimes portrayed as. It requires having completed 90 days in a social program, no citations/charges in the last 6 months, and no outstanding warrants. Will administrators/social workers enforce the rules to guarantee compliance?
SLO Figueroa relayed Sunlanders' complaints about speeding and ignoring stop signs. She now has volunteers using radar guns to aid officers' enforcement.
SLO Godoy says Tujunga's main crime rise is burglaries from motor vehicles. Many are at Samoa Av apartments with underground parking. Depending on gates and architecture, vehicles may not be safe underground whereas thieves work there out of sight.
Godoy shot down ads for tinted windows. Tinting DOES NOT hide or protect items inside vehicles. Crims now place a cell phone camera flush to the tinted window and see everything inside!
Ask your apartment manager/owner if those video cams actually RECORD what they see! Too often they don't record at all, or are overwritten every 24 hours—pretty useless in case of crime.
USE the MyLA311 App to get junk off the street and to report graffiti. It's fast and generates a report someone must follow up. When crims see a dirty, "tatted-up" community, they conclude no one's watching, so they're free to ravage.
Godoy said that many homeless have accepted shelter or moved away.
A resident complained drivers ignore stop signs at Valmont/Commerce, citing children and constant cross-traffic.
A resident alleged the owner of the old Denny's lot hasn't repaired its temporary fencing so miscreants can access homes nearby. This led to an armed resident persuading a crim to heave the yard. Let's count the ways that could go badly!
A resident reported an attempted home invasion near Samoa & Apperson! The home has bars on the doors. The alleged assaulter brandished a tactical knife and made verbal threats. Two 911 calls brought officers, but the neighbor alleged their arrival was "not timely."
Reportedly, dopers and criminals squat in a nearby home and steal from neighbors. Godoy has now told the victim to bring videos and stills to Foothill to fill out a police report. The 911 calls will also be examined.
A Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council member announced the Health and Safety Education Fair at Aurora Banquet Hall on Saturday, 21 January. Those who complete onsite training are provided a Narcan dose.
The hit 'n run at McDonald's is an ongoing investigation.
LAPD is very ready for Students Run LA on 12 February with ample police and EMT presence.
A Sunland NW resident said she doesn't see measurable results in homeless, and the number of encampments grows daily. They leave, but come back. Asks if monthly cleanups were cancelled. Figueroa admitted the ongoing problem is slow to improve and thinks three heavy rains have slowed cleanups. She's coordinating with CD7.
A Tujunga resident asked what must homeless do to be guilty of a crime? Said our councilperson doesn't return calls, does nothing, refuses to help our area. He compared out parks with the thorough—and controversial—Echo Park clean-out. Godoy clarified Echo Park was because gangs there had guns, but the driving issue was renovating the park.