Today was a busy day in Pacific Division. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck came and drove the streets from Mar Vista (where he was a patrol officer and a SLO), to Venice, Oakwood and LAX with our officers to see and hear what is happening on the streets. After getting a tasty dose of our transient and crusty-packed Boardwalk he attended the ceremonial launch of the children’s “free library” at Pacific Station. This is a fantastic program where kids in the community and of course those who are often impacted during the arrest and process of a parent can sit, read, take and exchange books. From our tiniest tots to teens this program is quickly expanding to the newest expansion of Pacific Station: A new community center announced today by Captain Johnson.
The new community center will be located in a new building in the Pacific Division lot and will have a bigger kids library and will be available for community meetings and as a place where citizens can go and interact with our officers of all levels to improve involvement, communication, interaction, information and fun! Pretty awesome! Captain Johnson said it will be opening in the next few months.
From there I zipped on my bike to the Police Commission Meeting at Daniel Webster Middle School. Mike Bonin spoke and made many salient points about our community. One that was most impactful and was nice to hear was acknowledging that Venice residents are fearful of their surroundings and are exhausted over years of failed or unrecognized pleas for action on many issues. (Thank you Councilman!) Chief Beck recognized that we have issues that need to be addressed. Unfortunately I had to split before the community comment portion but hopefully folks will chime in and let me know.
Some info I did confirm from Captain Johnson is that the Venice Boardwalk is getting a re-energized allocation of police presence. In about two weeks we will have a specialized bike detail of officers just for the boardwalk to assist with vendor enforcement and other various quality if life issues for the residents and merchants. WOO HOO!
Lastly, if you have the time consider getting more involved with your community. CPAB (Community Police Advisory Board) meetings are once a month. You get face time with your senior lead officers and the Captains and of course other people in your area. After proudly being uninvolved for years, when I decided to participate with the community I chose the things that mattered to me: crime and grime. I recognized that LAPD is critical in both things and I have learned a ton, and learned how many crazy misperceptions I had on how the community and cops work. The bottom line is that your getting involved will make you smarter and your community better.
Today was a pretty awesome day for our hood. Big thanks to LAPD, Councilman Bonin, the organizers of the kids free library and everyone who participated in today’s events!