Since yesterday, one of the main corridors of Highland Park – a neighborhood northeast of Los Angeles – already has agents from the City Police Department (LAPD) patrolling “on foot” to make sure the community is safe.

Vigilandia will focus on Figueroa Boulevard, from 54th Avenue to 59th Avenue, and other adjacent areas, to ensure a quieter atmosphere for neighbors, business owners and visitors to the area.

In the Figueroa corridor you can easily see a mix from businesses that have been operating for more than a quarter of a century to the most recent ones, which focus on the new generations.

Carlos López, owner of the Las Cazuelas restaurant, near 56th Avenue supports this measure.

“I find it quite positive. The LAPD itself already patrols the Gold Line area – one block behind the Figueroa corridor – and I am pleased to see them walking, getting off their patrol, ”said the man, whose family business has been serving the community for more than 30 years from Highland Park.

“I like that they not only dedicate themselves to the Metro area but also review further. Having a policeman on foot makes me much better, ”he added.

For his part Lucia Medina, owner of Highland Park Florist, said having police (nearby) could be a good thing since lately she has run into homeless people outside her business.

"The new homeless are more aggressive and you don't know what to do or how to tell them to leave," said the owner of the 28-year-old business on the corner of Figueroa and 57th Avenue.

"The police may come and help or they also think that here it is very dangerous and that is why they are here."

Lucia Medina owns a florist on the Figueroa corridor. / photo: Jacqueline García.

Andrea, an employee of the Prelude & Down business, between 56 and 57 avenue, said that the business opened its doors in 2015 and that she has had to experience rare visits.

“I had to call the police because there are very strange people. Once there was a man dressed in black, all he did was walk (inside the store) from one place to another, ”he said without providing his
last name.

The owner of a beauty products store, who was unaware of the implementation of more police officers in the area, said he was happy with the idea and launched a petition.

"They should go back, in the alley, because there the homeless arrive and they do the bathroom and leave very dirty," said the owner of Sung Suh.

In action on weekends

It should be noted that patrolling in cars will continue as normal. However, rounds on foot today are possible thanks to a grant granted by Councilor Gil Cedillo (CD-1) to the Northeast Division of LAPD, which is responsible for patrolling part of its district.

With the councilor's funds, the Northeast Division will further facilitate the enjoyment of local nightlife, businesses and restaurants, to create a safe environment that encourages customers to walk along the Figueroa corridor.

The Figueroa corridor will soon have more police presence. (Archive)

Cedillo was happy to guarantee the safety of those who live or visit Highland Park.
"The shifts will be during the afternoon and evening hours to coincide with recent criminal trends and pedestrian traffic," he said.

The captain of the Northeast station, Arturo Sandoval, indicated that the councilor is very interested in having safe communities and therefore contacted them to offer them the subsidy and thus create better relations between the police and the community.

In this new patrol, two LAPD agents have been assigned to monitor the streets on Friday on Sunday.

“They will arrive from 2 to 4 in the afternoon until midnight or 2 in the morning. We will move them depending on events or crimes that happen, ”Sandoval said.

"They will also have a patrol in case they need to move."

Captain Arturo Sandoval (d) talks with the owner of a business in Highland Park. / photo: supplied.

In 2015 a group of police officers was assigned on foot in the same area, however it was removed when Captain Michel Moore arrived, who asked that they be on patrols and not on foot, the captain said.

"Now we are doing it through Councilor Cedillo and it will be like an overtime for the agents," he said, ensuring that his interest fits that of the councilor to improve communication with the residents of the community.

"We can't do our job without them … I'm glad Councilor Cedillo supports us," added the captain.

The subsidy is estimated to be valid until the end of the fiscal year, June 2020, but it is very likely to be renewed again.


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