Angelenos Gear Up for National Night Out

Crime down in most areas, but safety still a concern.

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer

Neighborhoods across Los Angeles have experienced a decrease in crime as a whole, but crime continues to plague some neighborhoods and devastate families.

One recent crime in the Hollenbeck-area took place this past weekend. On Saturday, July 28, at the family-friendly Wyvernwood Garden Apartment complex with spacious green laws, 40-year-old Bernardo Lopez was fatally stabbed around 11:45 a.m. Daniel Arce, 48, the suspect in the case, was arrested for what police believe was an attack fueled by jealous rage.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Angelinos Se Preparan para la Velada Contra el Crimen

Too often, however, the suspect gets away or witnesses are afraid to tell police what they know.

That’s why the annual National Night Out events—held on Tuesday Aug.7 this year—are so important, say organizers. The annual event brings awareness to local crime prevention programs and aims to unite neighborhoods to take a stand against crime where they live.

Hollenbeck’s National Night Out event on Tuesday will begin with a peace march like this one in 2009. Photo courtesy of Margarita Amador

The Hollenbeck LAPD Police Station in collaboration with Dolores Mission Church will host one of several local National Night Out events taking place next Tuesday. The event is presented by the Los Angeles Police Department, the Hollenbeck Community Police Advisory Board, and Los Angeles Council Members Jose Huizar and Ed P. Reyes.

Just last month, members of the Boyle Heights community organized and participated in a peace march with Dolores Mission Church parishioners and clergy. The group was reacting to four gang-related homicides in the immediate area within a three-month time frame.

Dolores Mission Church is now holding regular meetings related to crime, according to LAPD Hollenbeck Senior Lead Officer Joe Chacon. As a senior lead officer, Chacon serves as a link to help address crime and quality of life related complaints in the portion of Boyle Heights he is assigned to cover.

According to the station’s crime statistics, as of July 14, the Hollenbeck division, which includes Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights, had recorded nine homicides for 2012—down two homicides compared to the same time frame in 2011.

However, shootings have increased slightly. There have been 129 reports of shots fired this year, compared to 117 during the same period last year. In addition, there have been 44 victims of shootings compared to 38 in 2011, according to the stations’ CompStat report.

Chacon grew up in Boyle Heights and said crimes are noticeably down compared to past years—gang members rarely hang out on the corners, and kids are now visible playing on the street—but it is still important to observe events like National Night Out because they help build community and rapport with law enforcement, he said.

So far this year, the Hollenbeck Division communities have experienced an increase in property crimes in every category except burglary. The largest increase is in Grand Theft Auto, these crimes are up by 40 percent (506 incidents so far, compared to 362 last year).

Personal thefts and thefts from vehicles are also up.  That may be related to the early release of non-violent prisoners, Chacon speculated. He reminds residents to lock their vehicles and to keep their valuables out of sight.

Hollenbeck’s National Night Out event will provide information on crime prevention and safety, and local resources.

Police hope to bring out the community to discuss crime and safety at Tuesday’s National Night Out happening throughout Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Margarita Amador

The event begins with a peace march starting at Dolores Mission Church at 6:30 p.m. The march will travel to the Hollenbeck Police Station, then follow a route around the neighborhood and back to the police station. Festivities also include a BBQ and peace rally.

Dolores Mission is located at 170 South Gless St. and the LAPD Hollenbeck Police Community Station is located at 2111 E. 1st St.

For more information call the Hollenbeck Police Community Relations Office at (323) 342-4130.

More National Night Out Events!

City of Commerce: Commerce residents can attend 12 neighborhood parties across town starting at 6:30pm. Two will be held in Rosewood neighborhood, one in Bandini, two in Rosini, two in Bristow and four in Veterans Park. For more information, call Laura Tilley, the Interim Public Safety Supervisor, at (323) 887-4460 x2870.

Montebello: Come meet Montebello’s police and fire chiefs at the national night out party that will be held at the police department (1600 W. Beverly Blvd, Montebello, California) from 6-8:30pm. There will be K-9 and police air-ship demonstrations, fire equipment on display, food, activities, fingerprinting for kids, and DJ services by Taco Man (of Vicente’s Tacos). For more information, call (323) 887-1231.

Monterey Park Host National Night Out at City Hall: Monterey Park residents can enjoy a free National Night Out event in front of City Hall starting at 7pm and sponsored by Farmer’s Insurance. Goodie bags, free fingerprint ID kits for kids, and free food and entertainment provided. Members of the Monterey Park Police Department’s Citizens Patrol will be providing safety information and recruiting. Members of the Chinatown Center in downtown Los Angeles will also be in attendance handing out information of their services. City Hall is located at 320 W. Newark Ave. For more information contact the Monterey Park Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau at (626) 307-1215.

Northeast LA Residents to Gather in Eagle Rock: Residents in the Northeast LA area—including Highland Park, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights—can attend the National Night Out event taking place near Target at the Eagle Rock Plaza. The store is located at 2626 Colorado Blvd., L.A. The event on the upper level parking lot of the plaza will be from 6 to 8 pm and includes free food, music, entertainment, and games. For more information on times and other details contact the Northeast LAPD Community Relations Office at (323) 254-5295.

Anti-Crime Rally, Softball Game and More in Bell Gardens: The Bell Gardens Police Department is hosting an anti-crime rally from 6-9pm at Ford Park. Youth activities include jumpers, games, a small superhero skit on stage, a softball game between the City of Bell Gardens and the Bicycle Casino, and more. Several local vendors will be in attendance as well and a special guest appearance by Ronald McDonald. Ford Park is located at 8000 Park Lane. For more information contact Sgt. Dennis Timmons at (562) 806-7632.

East Los Angeles: The East Los Angeles Sheriffs Station will host a community block party from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event includes free food, music, entertainment and kids’ activities, as well as safety/information booths by the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Metro Line, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Alma Family Services and numerous businesses. The event will be held at Belvedere Park, located at 4801 East Third Street. For more information contact Deputy John Rueff, Jr. at (323) 264-4151.

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August 2, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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