LAPD Officers Recognized on Social Media

August 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A pair of LAPD officers who took the time to help a teenage boy with his necktie for his first day back at school are getting recognition for their act of kindness in the form of a social media “shout-out” from his grateful mom.

Officers Jonathan Maldonado and Alberto Ledesma were flagged down in the Boyle Heights area on Monday morning by the boy and his mother, who were en route to Bishop Mora Salesian High School.

“The boy didn’t know how to tie his tie – and they were happy to help,” said Officer Norma Eisenman, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman.

Christopher Cazales, 14, needed to wear a tie for a photograph to be used on his school identification card. His grateful mother took photos of her son with the officers, and posted the images on social media.

“It’s nice to know that some of them are actually nice and will help,” the boy said.


(Susanna V. Gutierrez)

(Susanna V. Gutierrez)

Suspect Arrested in Glassell Park Shooting

August 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A young man was in custody Wednesday for allegedly shooting a woman who was found dead in a car in the Glassell Park area.

Alexis Madera, 18, was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held on $1 million bail, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.

The body 31-year-old Desiree Ramirez of Los Angeles was discovered about 2:40 a.m. Tuesday in a vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in the 3200 block of Isabel Drive. She had been shot in the upper body.

Madera was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

Police did not offer a motive for the crime.

John Kavanaugh, 80, said the neighborhood where he’s lived most of his life has been plagued by violence.

“I heard nothing overnight, but that’s nothing unusual because almost constantly we have problems in this area, all the time,” he said Tuesday. “We do not have control of our community here.”

It was the fourth unrelated shooting death in Glassell Park in 10 days, according to Los Angeles police.

Northeast Division police Capt. Jeffrey Bert said Tuesday that the department takes the shootings seriously, closing the area for several hours while police, and an airship searched the area for a suspect.


National Night Out

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of residents from Boyle Heights gathered in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Hollenbeck Station Tuesday night to celebrate National Night Out.

(Courtesy of the Office of Boyle Heights Wolfpack)

(Courtesy of the Office of Boyle Heights Wolfpack)

“National Night Out is about law enforcement and the community coming together for a common goal: make our neighborhoods safer and promote peace in our communities,” said Councilman Jose Huizar.

Other areas celebrating the National Night Out to “take back the streets” and prevent violence and crime in their area included, Northeast, El Sereno, East Los Angeles, Montebello and Monterey Park.

Man Found Dead in Highland Park

July 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A man was found dead Monday in Highland Park, according to police.

The victim was bludgeoned to death,  said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez.

Officers with LAPD’s Northeast Division were called to Sycamore Grove Park in the 4700 block of North Figueroa Street at about, 3:30 p.m., ” said LAPD Detective Ubaldo Zesati.

“It looks like he was a transient,” Zesati told EGP. He said the victim appeared to be Hispanic.

Lopez said the man was in his 40s or 50s.

The still unidentified man was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

There is no suspect information, Lopez  said.The case is still under investigation.


Updated: 8:30 p.m.

Update July 28, 10:30 a.m. to add man appeared to be in his 40s or 50s.

Man Wounded In Higland Park Weekend ‘Gang’ Shooting

July 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One person was wounded in a shooting in Highland Park Sunday night.

The male victim was shot in a lower extremity just after 8 p.m. in the 1400 block of North Avenue 56, said an officer at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Northeast Station.

The victim was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening wound, the officer said.

No suspect information was immediately available.

Police were investigating the possibility that the shooting was gang-related, the officer said.

Gang-related shooting in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood have increased significantl this year, with the highest number coming between February and April.

Law enforcement officials have blamed a turf war between the Avenues and HPK for the increase.

Stepped up enforcement, including some assistance from  from LAPD’s elite Metro mobile division and use of gang injunctions has slowed the number of shootings since May.

The  motive in the latest shooting remains under investigation.

El Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles Actualiza Entrenamiento

July 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

El jefe de policía de Los Ángeles Charlie Beck, dijo el lunes que todos los agentes de la policía del departamento serán capacitados durante el próximo mes sobre formas de cómo reducir encuentros potencialmente violentos como parte de una “conversación nacional” sobre el uso de fuerza de la policía, así como en respuesta a los disparos fatales de oficiales a Ezell Ford en el sur de Los Ángeles.

La sesión de entrenamiento de cinco horas de duración, que se llevará a cabo en las 21 divisiones de policía, comenzaron el lunes con oficiales de la División de Topanga en la Preparatoria Judía New Community en West Hills. Oficiales de la División Noreste también recibieron entrenamiento el lunes, dijeron funcionarios del LAPD.

La formación se centra en la “preservación de la vida”, que incluye ver “lo que es el uso de fuerza legítimo” y el “objetivo de la policía para el uso de fuerza”, dijo Beck.

“Siempre hemos dicho que la preservación de la vida es la cosa número uno en la policía”, dijo Beck. “No es sólo acerca de la preservación de su propia vida – es sobre la preservación de la vida de las personas con quien están en contacto”.

Beck caracteriza las sesiones no como el re-entrenamiento, sino como un curso de actualización sobre las políticas del departamento.

El 11 de agosto de 2014, el disparo a Ford, de 25 años, hombre desarmado, negro que los familiares dijeron que era un enfermo mental, “tenía un ímpetu” para el entrenamiento,

“Pero no es la única razón”, dijo Beck, quien insistió en que el departamento hubiera llevado a cabo el entrenamiento de todos modos.

Beck dijo que el tiroteo de Ford “es un incidente importante en la historia de el Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles” y es parte de una “conversación nacional” impulsada por disparos de la policía en todo el país, todos los cuales “impactan la forma de cómo los policías de Los Ángeles se sienten acerca de su trabajo”.

“Tenemos que reconocer que esto no es un tema que se trata sólo de otros lugares. Se trata, de aquí también”, dijo.

Los oficiales recibirán entrenamiento sobre el control de los miembros del público que son enfermos mentales, incluyendo técnicas de apaciguamiento y “el papel que nuestros médicos desempeñan para ayudar a los oficiales en el campo”, según el comandante Andy Smith, portavoz del LAPD.

Beck dijo que los oficiales también aprenderán sobre la historia de la relación entre los agentes de policía de Los Ángeles y el público, y la práctica de la policía comunitaria.

Beck dijo que hizo una aparición personal en el evento de entrenamiento del lunes envió un mensaje a los agentes de policía que “esto es algo que no sólo yo apoyo, pero [algo en] lo que creo”, así como para mostrar al público que la policía de Los Ángeles “se toma este momento muy en serio”.

No Single Strategy to Fighting Crime

July 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It was still light out when officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Gang Division stopped three young men in a Glassell Park neighborhood that for years was notorious for gang and drug activity.

It was just one of several stops officers would make that night which would end up with one or more “known” gang members being taken into custody for parole violations or for violating local gang injunctions prohibiting them from congregating with other “known” gang members.

In the weeks leading up to that Friday night, Capt. Jeffrey Bert with LAPD’s Northeast Division had attributed the rising violence to feuding between the Avenues and HLP gangs in Highland Park. Gang related violence was up 67%, Bert told the audience at a panel discussion on gang injunctions in April. There were 20 shootings between the Avenues and Highland Park gangs between Feb. 6 and April 18 alone, he said, giving his support to the use of gang injunctions as a successful crime-fighting tool.

During a stop, Northeast LAPD officers check suspects for parole and gang injunctions violations. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

During a stop, Northeast LAPD officers check suspects for parole and gang injunctions violations. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

There were five more shootings in Highland Park during the month of May; four were gang-related, according to the LAPD.

On Friday, May 22 —  the eve of the start of the three-day Memorial Day Holiday weekend and the unofficial start of the summer season — officers from LAPD’s Northeast Division gang and Special Problems Units, and from the specialized mobile Metro unit were out in force, continuing efforts to quell the recent rash of gang-related shootings and violence in Highland Park.

“You never know what it’s going to be like” out there, Sgt. Chris Gomez, head of the Special Problems Unit told EGP reporters that night.

From a distance, the large number of police officers responding to the Glassell Park stop seemed excessive, but according to Gomez, every officer at the seemingly well-under-control scene had an assigned role, from watching movement along the street and in the apartments overhead and across the street, to directing innocent bystanders away from the sidewalk where the suspects stood handcuffed.

This is a dangerous area, Gomez said. A police officer was ambushed on this very street, he said. He said police policy dictates that an officer should never be outnumbered. There are three suspects, the initial stop was made by a patrol car with two officers, so other units in the area responded to provide back up.

That night, officers with the Special Problems Unit told EGP that they try to interact and get to know residents in the area and to diffuse tension between the police and the community. Echoing comments made in the weeks prior by LAPD brass, “We can’t do it alone,” said Officer Asuncion.

Social demographers and criminologists often point to summer being the time when crime rates spike the most. At-risk youth with few resources and too much time on their hands are more likely to engage in illegal activity, studies have found.

But Los Angeles’ 12.7 percent increase in violent and property crime during the first half of the year is bad news, and could indicate a longer and higher increase without greater intervention. Mayor Eric Garcetti and police Chief Charlie Beck last week announced plans for a ramped-up domestic violence response team and said additional back-up officers should help stem the crime rise.

The figures marked the first time in about a decade that overall crime has risen in the city.

Violent crime rose 20.6 percent overall in the first six months of the year, compared with the same time last year, according to Los Angeles Police Department figures.

In the violent crime category, homicide fell 6.7 percent, but rape was up 7.9 percent, robbery up 16.6 percent and aggravated assaults increased by 26.3 percent.

Gomez said this week that the members of his unit have seen an increase in the number of older gang members returning to the community.

“Their prison terms are up and they’re getting out of jail,” he said, referring to Drew Street and Avenue gang members arrested during past crackdowns on gang and drug violence in the Northeast area.

But it’s the younger members that are doing most of the work of the gangs, Gomez said.

That’s why he supports intervention programs like Summer Night Lights, which keeps parks open after dark to give youth in low-income communities a safe and neutral place to hang out and take part in sports and other positive programs. It also gives officers a chance to interact positively with the community, he said, noting that at the Cypress Park Recreation Center people come and sit down with officers and talk.

Stepped up enforcement and more cops visible on the street are also important, he said. Gomez supports Beck’s plan to add officers to the mobile, specialized Metro unit, which has some of the department’s best trained officers, but says there is a downside, the reassignment of officers has left some divisions, including northeast, short-handed at times.

“Frankly, we need more resources,” says Gomez, whose unit “fills the holes” in the division’s handling of crime. More than a handful of officers have been taken from every division, and that “cripples our ability to pursue leads and calls for service,” Gomez said.

It’s a message he says Division captains have communicated to higher-ups.


EGP reporter Jacqueline Garcia contributed to this story.


Crime Numbers: ‘Bad News’ for Los Angeles

July 9, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

A 12.7 percent increase in violent and property crime in Los Angeles during the first half of the year is “bad news,” Mayor Eric Garcetti acknowledged Wednesday, but he and police Chief Charlie Beck said a ramped-up domestic violence response team and additional back-up officers should help stem the crime rise.

The figures marked the first time in about a decade that overall crime has risen in the city.

The leap in crime “is bad news, but … my administration doesn’t run away from bad news,” said Garcetti, who joined Beck at a news conference to address the crime statistics.

Violent crime rose 20.6 percent overall in the first six months of the year, compared with the same time last year, according to Los Angeles Police Department figures.

In the violent crime category, homicide fell 6.7 percent, but rape was up 7.9 percent, robbery up 16.6 percent and aggravated assaults increased by 26.3 percent.

Property crimes rose 10.9 percent, police said. Burglary saw a 15.8 percent jump, while auto theft was up 13.8 percent and larceny up by 8.9 percent.

The increase could be driven by higher rates of domestic violence, gang crime and “an increase of folks that are living on the street that are more likely involved in violent incidences,” Beck said.

Garcetti said domestic violence response teams, which had been limited to a few police stations, will be expanded to all 21 police division by the end of summer, with funding and contracts already in place.

Meanwhile, a back-up unit stationed at the Metropolitan Division will be boosted by 200 officers by the end of the year to offer police support across the city, Garcetti said.

Other measures in the works include expanding the areas where gang-intervention work will take place, retraining officers in de-escalation techniques and rolling out body cameras to a few divisions this summer, and eventually to the entire police department by next year, Garcetti said.

Programa de Verano Mantiene a Jóvenes Fuera de Problemas

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Según estadísticas, cuando la temperatura sube y la escuela está cerrada, los jóvenes de los barrios con pocos recursos y menos actividades para mantenerse ocupados se encuentran en un mayor riesgo de involucrarse en problemas.

Es un hecho que los funcionarios de la ciudad y la policía están muy conscientes de ello, y es la razón detrás de un programa que mantiene muchos de los parques de la ciudad de Los Ángeles y los centros de recreación abiertos por la noche durante el verano.

Read this article in English: Summer Night Lights: Alternative to Trouble

Ahora en su octavo año, el programa Summer Night Lights (SNL) ofrece deportes gratis, arte y otras actividades y comida gratis para los niños/jóvenes y sus familias en muchos de los barrios densamente poblados de la ciudad.

La residente de Highland Park Teresa Martínez ha estado llevando sus hijos al Centro de Recreación de Highland Park por los últimos dos años para que tengan un poco de diversión en el verano.

“Hay muchas actividades ocurriendo y el programa de Summer Night Lights es muy popular en esta área”, le dijo a EGP. “Ofrecen comida gratis, bebidas, música, rifas, un montón de cosas”, agregó.

Este año, la hija de Martínez de 10 años juega en un equipo de softbol, mientras que su hijo de 13 años espera unirse a un equipo de baloncesto.

Cuando los chicos están ocupados haciendo cosas que disfrutan, son menos propensos a meterse en problemas o ser reclutados por las pandillas, dijo el entonces concejal, y ahora alcalde Eric Garcetti cuando encabezó el programa hace ocho años como una forma de combatir la actividad de las pandillas en Glassell Park y los barrios circundantes. En asociación con la Oficina de Desarrollo Juvenil y Reducción de Pandillas (GRYD) y la Ciudad de Los Ángeles, el programa de “parque en la noche” se ha expandido a 32 lugares de la ciudad.

El programa Summer Night Lights esta disponible en 32 parques de la ciudad hasta el 28 de agosto de 2015. (EGP foto por Jacqueline García)

El programa Summer Night Lights esta disponible en 32 parques de la ciudad hasta el 28 de agosto de 2015. (EGP foto por Jacqueline García)

También ha demostrado ser una buena herramienta para reducir los crímenes violentos, mientras que promueve paz, actividades positivas y resultados saludables para los residentes, según GRYD. Summer Night Lights se centra en las zonas más afectadas por la violencia de las pandillas, el desempleo, y con altas concentraciones de jóvenes y adultos jóvenes.

“Esta es una gran oportunidad de participar con los jóvenes y crear un punto positivo” de contacto, Christopher Gómez, sargento de la División Noreste de LAPD le dijo a EGP. Agregó que su Unidad de Problemas Especiales supervisa las localidades de Glassell Park y Highland Park, ayudando a que las familias se sientan más cómodas con sus jóvenes que participan en las actividades del parque.

Martínez dijo que al principio dudaba en llevar a sus hijos al parque donde algunos programas deportivos se llevan a cabo hasta las 11pm. Esos temores ya se han disipado: “Siempre hay mucha actividad de la policía y hay mucha participación de los padres también”, explicó, agregando que ahora se siente contenta de que Summer Night Lights se ofrezca en Highland Park.

Según GRYD, en 2014 se registraron más de 900.000 visitas en los 32 sitios de Summer Night Lights. Hubo una reducción del 15,4% en los delitos—relacionados con pandillas de miércoles a sábado entre el 25 de junio y el 9 de agosto—en comparación con el mismo periodo de 2013. Más de medio millón de comidas gratis fueron servidas durante las horas del programa.

Según las autoridades, más de 10.000 jóvenes han participado en las ligas deportivas de fútbol, baloncesto y béisbol, y en clínicas deportivas con los LA Kings, LA Galaxy, LA D-fenders, Play Rubgy USA, CHIVAS USA y la WNBA/Coca Cola.

El horario del programa es de 7pm a 11pm de miércoles a sábado en parques y centros de recreación selectos. Algunas de las actividades que ofrecen dichas localidades este año incluyen:

- Arte: talleres de arte nocturnos, artes culinarias, serigrafía, pintura de murales, zumba, hip-hop y poesía.

- Deportes: ligas de baloncesto, softbol y/o ligas de fútbol para todas las edades;

- Eventos especiales: conciertos de música, salud/estado físico, noches de películas, recursos de ciencia y alfabetización;

- Comidas saludables por la noche;

- Departamento de Recursos de Salud Pública.

El programa también contrata a algunos jóvenes, de edades 17-24, para trabajar en las localidades participantes. En 2014, se crearon 1.068 puestos de trabajo locales y 325 jóvenes en riesgo fueron contratados y se les proporcionó entrenamiento continuo.

Este año se ha añadido una evaluación pre-programa enfocada en la identificación de las carreras y metas para los jóvenes que participan en el programa educativo de Summer Night Lights.

Algunas localidades que ofrecen el programa son:

– Glassell Park Recreation Center:
3707 Verdugo Rd. 90065

– Highland Park Recreation Center:
6150 Piedmont Ave. 90042

– Costello Recreation Center:
3141 E. Olympic Blvd. 90023

– El Sereno Recreation Center:
4721 Klamath St. 90032

– Montecito Heights Recreation Center:
4545 Homer St. 90031

– Ramon Garcia Recreation Center:
1016 Fresno St. 90023

– Ramona Gardens Recreation Center:
2830 Lancaster Ave. 90033

– Cypress Park Recreation Center:
2630 Pepper Ave. 90065

Para obtener más información, visite:


Twitter @jackieguzman


LAPD Officer Injured During Chase

June 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A Los Angeles Police Department officer was injured during a stolen vehicle chase that ended in South Pasadena last Friday.

A unit from the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station began chasing the vehicle about 5:50 p.m. Friday, Officer Jane Kim of the Media Relations Section said.

The chase ended on the Pasadena (110) Freeway at Garfield Avenue, a South Pasadena police dispatcher said.

The suspect was taken into custody, Kim said.

It was unclear how the officer was hurt, or if the chase ended with a crash, but the injury does not appear to be life-threatening, Kim said.

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