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Public Safety

Chair: Victor Lerma
Members: Trevor Owen, Tess Reyes-Dunn, Brad Brody, Will Jarvis

Regular Meeting Time: Third Tuesday of the month, 6:30pm
Goals: Our objective is to increase the safety of our stakeholders. The WNC has had a long history linked to the various agencies that keep our neighborhoods safe, including the police department and neighborhood watch.

Some of our members belong to citizen safety groups like CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams). Our belief is that we are a partner with the rest of the city and the community in keeping our community safe.

The Public Safety Committee will deal with safety issues and provide information to our constituents that will help them remain safe.


Information about the Safe Neighborhoods Act to stop gangs, guns and street crime.


August  8, 2013

January 20, 2009
March 17, 2009
April 21, 2009

January 22, 2008
April 15, 2008
May 20, 2008
June 17, 2008
August 19, 2008

January 19, 2006
February 21, 2006
March 20, 2006
April 17, 2006
May 18, 2006

January 17, 2005
February 20, 2005
March 21, 2005
April 18, 2005
May 16, 2005
June 20, 2005
November 21, 2005

August 16, 2004 Notes
September 20, 2004

Crime Snapshot

On Jan. 7, the LAPD released its year-end citywide crime statistics for 2012, showing that overall, crime has continued to decline in the City for 10 years. The City has seen a 39% drop in homicides since in 2005 . Serious crimes such as homicide, rape, burglary and theft in 2012 were also down 19% compared with 2005.

Total violent crimes in 2012 were 8.2% lower than in 2011 and 40.2% lower than in 2005. Total property crimes were up .2% over 2011, but were still lower 23.6% lower than in 2005. To see the LAPD 2012 Crime Snapshot report, visit http://tiny.cc/kjgmqw


LAFD Battalion Chief Joe Foley attended the May 10, 2011 meeting to thank the board for supporting Fire Stations 72 and 104 with equipment and tools. This project was led by Eric Lewis who worked with the stations to identify and procure needed items. This included: Commercial grade hand buffers for fire apparatus, 10" power miter saws, tool chest, hand tools, and exercise equipment.

Crime Prevention Tips

#1 LOCK YOUR DOORS: A lot of crimes that occur are crimes of opportunity. A door to door salesman, a gardener passing out business cards or a restaurant employee giving out menus walks throughout the neighborhood knocking on multiple doors. Who is to say that they don't try the handle on a few and if unlocked take the opportunity to relieve you of some jewelry. These are not criminal masterminds or career burglars but criminal opportunists and your property is just as gone.

#2 LOCK ALL OF YOUR WINDOWS: It does no good to lock your doors and the majority of your windows only to leave a small bathroom window open to let in air. Just because you may not be able to fit through the window does not mean that someone else won't.

#3 EQUIP UPSTAIRS WINDOWS WITH ALARMS: A lot of victims had no alarm system for the upstairs windows. "Laddermen, Second Story Crews" etc are some of the names we have given to guys who break in through upstairs windows in order to bypass alarm systems.

#4 JOIN A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP: It really stands that if everyone in a particular neighborhood knew each other and looked out for each other then criminals would have no place to operate. Neighborhoods with a strong Watch group who report suspicious activity to the Police see a reduction in crime.

Residential Safety Tips

Residents who park their vehicles outside of their garages should always remember to take their garage door openers with them. We have seen on multiple occasions suspects breaking into vehicles for the purpose of obtaining the garage door opener. The suspects enter the garage and remove the victims tools and other valuables.

An additional consideration is to always ensure that the interior door from your house to the garage is locked and secured. Pet doors into your home also offer an easy way for would be burglars to enter your home. Always remember to make your home as safe and secure as possible.

For additional safety tips and current crime trends in your community contact your Senior Lead Officers and find out how you can get involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program.

Senior Lead Officer Dennis Cunningham #34966
Topanga Area, 818-756-3070

WNC Traffic Issues Update

At the April 2009 meeting the Board received word that the request for installation of "No Unhitched Trailers" signs is moving forward. The Board specifically addressed the blight and danger of unhitched trailers with advertising by passing a motion at the January 2009 meeting requesting signs saying, "No Unhitched Trailers". The signs are requested for Winnetka Ave (between Victory Blvd. and Parthenia Ave), Roscoe Blvd (between Corbin Ave and DeSoto Ave), and Sherman Way (between Corbin Ave and DeSoto Ave).” Read the letter.

At the January 2009 meeting the Board also approved a motion to share the cost of solar powered speed indicators signs with Councilman Zine. These signs tell motorists how fast they are going and are expected to cause drivers to reduce their speeds. However, as of April 2009, the cost has gone up significantly and the Board decided not to move forward with the signs.

To address speeding the Board did make a recommendation in April 2009 to the City to allow for the current increased speed of 40 mph on Mason, Victory & De Soto. The City had completed a traffic study indicating that the speed limits on those streets should be increased to 40 mph. Once the City makes the change, then officers will be able to issue tickets using radar.

WNC Supports Topanga Police Station

The WNC provided the Topanga Police Station with a printer and print cartridges in October 2009. Detective Chris Ruiz in charge of the Juvenile Unit at the Topanga Station noted that the station appreciated the support!

Truancy Task Force

On June 5, 2009 the Multi-Agency Truancy Task Force was conducted and 65 minors were picked up for being truant during the hours of 8 am and 1:30pm. A parent of each minor had to pick up the minor at Winnetka Recreation Park from 7:30 am -2:00 pm. Thank you to all who participated.

LAPD Responsive to Winnetka Needs

LAPD Senior Lead Officer Sue Herrold from Devonshire Division reported on efforts to serve Winnetka and took careful notes on stakeholder concerns to be addressed during the April 2009 meeting. Of special note were next steps on addressing the soon to open second medical marijuana facility in Winnetka and the existing facility called "Hope" located on Vanowen near Winnetka. Hope opened near a school and without permits.

LAPD is also addressing a strip mall on Roscoe east of Winnetka that has been a problem and a recycling facility which is a magnet for public drunkenness on Roscoe near Jons Market.

New Drugs Marketed to Kids

New drug in Schools...

This is a new drug known as 'strawberry quick '.
There is a very scary thing going on in the schools right now that we all need to be aware of.

There is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks (the candy that sizzles and 'pops' in your mouth). It also smells like strawberry and it is being handed out to kids in school yards. They are calling it strawberry meth or strawberry quick.

Kids are ingesting this thinking that it is candy and being rushed off to the hospital in dire condition. It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange.

Please instruct your children not to accept candy from strangers and even not to accept candy that looks like this from a friend (who may have been given it and believed it is candy) and to take any that they may have to a teacher, principal, etc. immediately.

Pass this on to as many people as you can (even if they don't have kids) so that we can raise awareness and hopefully prevent any tragedies from occurring. Fox News Article


At the April 15, 2008 meeting Captain Sherman discussed the Topanga station planned for opening January 2009. The response time to calls will most likely be quicker since the station is closer. And PALS, Explorers, Jeopardy and the Reserve Officers will also be on-site.

Senior Lead Officer Maldonado was on hand to hear concerns about graffiti, vagrants, and bars. There was a discussion about possibly installing graffiti watch cameras that not only take pictures of taggers in action, but sound an alert notifying them that they are being watched. This system is hoped to deter graffiti. The committee is working with Officer Maldonado to determine the best places for camera installation.

The committee recommended that the WNC board make a stand in favor of Jamiel's law, which would repeal the LAPD's policy of disregarding the immigration status of persons who are arrested or convicted of committing violent crimes. This law was proposed when Jamiel Andre Shaw, a high school football star was gunned down near his home by a recently released man serving time for assault with a deadly weapon. He may have been here illegally. Read more about Jamiel's Law. Additional commentary about Jamiel's Law.

Runnymede Park Safety

The Board continues to be concerned about safety at Runnymede Park. We voted in May 2007 to send letters to Councilman Zine and Mayor Villaraigosa requesting more police patrols and lights at the park. We are also sending a letter to Mr. Dickson of Parks and Recreation asking for more lighting.


04/06/06 By JJ Popowich

Over the last year the WNC has been working with stakeholders, the LAPD, Park Rangers, and Recreation & Parks to address problems at Runnymede Park.

LAPD Senior Lead Officer Raigoza has been instrumental in helping the WNC clean the park up. Through her efforts we’ve been able to arrange well over 30 hours of Vice and Bike Patrols. The results have been arrests for gambling and public drunkenness. Stakeholders in the area have noted the improvement as well.

The newest problem to pop up at the park are reports of loitering near the Gifford Street entrance. The Public Safety Committee held a hearing earlier this year and voted to request the entrance be closed. The request has been sent to the Department of Recreation and Parks, but they have expressed some concerns.

The Parks feels that the closure is a drastic measure that should be a last resort. This is an issue the WNC wrestled with in our public hearing. We had hoped that more stakeholders would have attended to express their opinions about the closure. Unfortunately there were only a very few who showed. The problem with this entrance and the loitering is that the LAPD can only do so much. The laws that apply to loitering require the officers to provide a warning first. If the individuals move on, then they can't arrest them. Those that have been observed loitering always disperse willingly. This is the reason the LAPD recommended we close the entrance.

The WNC will continue to work on this issue and negotiate solutions with the LAPD and Recreation & Parks. However, if you still see issues at this park and are truly interested in resolving the problems then we urge you to come to our meetings and work with us to address the communities concerns. The five committee members can not do it alone.


The WNC is making progress in regards to cleaning up Runnymede Park. As a result of the WNC's actions over the last few months the City has stepped up to the plate and is starting to address stakeholder concerns at the park.

Late last month several members from various agencies met with Councilmember Zine's Field Deputy to review the park and the WNC's requests. On October 11, 2005, several Board members had a chance to meet with several high level representatives of various agencies regarding the park in an informal get together after the Board meeting was canceled.

As a result of our focus the LAPD Vice and Bike squad has spent a combined 30 hours over the last week and a half at the park. Officer Crosby from the West Valley Division announced that the Vice unit made two arrests for gambling and one for public drunkenness. The Bike squad made another three arrests for gambling. He commented that this is a tremendous effort and focus on this park that is unusual and it's had a positive impact.

Acting Chief Park Ranger, Albert Torres, commented that they are also committed to cleaning up this park. Chief Torres said he has requested the Recreation & Parks to add additional signage at the park with the 24 hour hotline for stakeholders and park goers to call to report problems. The Rangers have committed to responding as soon as possible to the reports. He cautioned there are only 24 Rangers serving all of Los Angeles and a number of support personnel. While they can't guarantee immediate response (it depends on where the Rangers are at the time of the call) they will respond and follow up on complaints.

Chief Torres pointed out that resolving the problems at Runnymede will take a partnership between the residents and the various city agencies. Chief Torres continued by saying his focus is to look at the trends as well as address the immediate concerns. He urged residents and park goers to report problems. The more data he has to see trends the better he can allocate resources and work with other agencies to get the resources that are needed.

Recreation & Parks had two representatives in attendance. Superintendent X and Laura Bauernfeind. Ms. Bauernfeind said the park is increasing the sign postings in both English and Spanish listing restrictions against moon bouncers. They will also be posting new signs with the Park Ranger's number as well. She also announced that they will be adding additional trash cans throughout out the park.

One of the main requests the WNC made in it's motion from earlier in the year was to reduce the number of picnic tables in the park. Ms. Bauernfeind said that Recreation & Parks did consider the request but felt that they number of tables was warranted. She explained that the decision was based on the belief that the families that use the park would have a bigger benefit if they were left. She commented that this should encourage family usage.

WNC President, Mr. Popowich, questioned the logic of leaving the tables. He asked, "What am I supposed to say to the stakeholders when they ask why we can't get the tables removed?" He went on to ask at what point the stake holder's desires matter to the City. He pointed out that the WNC has held meetings where we had over 30 stakeholders asking for the benches to be removed. He also spoke about his own observance of gambling and how they use the tables, describing in detail the gambling operation. He stressed that we have to present results to these stakeholders.

Superintendent X committed to reviewing the issue again. He asked for an opportunity to have his staff look at the park this week and see if they can present a compromise proposal on the number of tables. He confirmed that they will consider reducing the tables. X will report back to the Board with a compromise by the next regular Board meeting. He also stressed that this was an opportunity to get the community to work to resolve their issues.

Mr. Popowich said, ''the WNC and City have struggled for several months to get this problem addressed." He went on to say that he was thankful the City was able to stay and talk to them and said he feels, "this is a new beginning and the start of what looks like a good working relationship."

The WNC will continue to focus on this problem and is still planning to have a Winnetka Night Out at the park once we can ensure we have enough stakeholders who are willing to assist in arranging the event.


10/25/2014 1:00 PM
Halloween Festival

10/27/2014 9:00 AM
Golf Ball Drop and Tournament

10/27/2014 7:00 PM
Public Works & Transportation Committee Meeting

11/4/2014 6:30 PM
Planning and Land Use Meeting

11/11/2014 6:30 PM
Board Meeting

11/18/2014 6:30 PM
Public Safety Meeting

11/24/2014 7:00 PM
Public Works & Transportation Committee Meeting

12/2/2014 6:30 PM
Planning and Land Use Meeting

12/9/2014 6:30 PM
Board Meeting
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