Safety & Security In The Neighborhood

burglarKentwood Home Guardians HOA recently hosted a safety and security meeting with LAPD. 60 guests were expected. Over 300 turned out.

If you missed the meeting, here is a recap penned by Cyndi Hench, President of our Neighborhood Council.

The Kentwood Home Guardians HOA hosted a Safety and Security meeting this evening with the LAPD. Detective Robyn Salazar and Senior Lead Officers Ruben Garcia and Chris Richardson talked about the area crime and how to take steps to avoid becoming a victim. Too many burglaries of homes and cars occur through unlocked doors and windows. They reiterated the “Lock it, Hide it, Keep it” message.

Last Friday there were 2 gun point robberies of cell phones in the area. One at 77th and Truxton, the other 80th and McConnell both occurred around 3:45pm-4pm. The victim at 77th and Truxton was a 13 year old boy who was walking home from school distracted with his phone. The other was a female jogger who had her iPhone in her hand and was using ear phones to listen to her music. The message from LAPD was to keep your cell phones out of sight when you are out on the street and to be aware of your surroundings.

Many of the burglaries in our neighborhood follow the MO of “knock knock” burglars. They will knock on a house door to see if someone is home. If no answer, they will then make their way to the side yard or back yard looking for an opportunity to enter the house thru an open/unlocked door or window or many times will also use forced entry to break in. The officers warned us to not open the door to strangers but to clearly communicate “I am not interested. Please go away”. If they persist, say it again. If they refuse, call 911 and tell the operator that a stranger refuses to leave. If you can get a visual, use the attached Descriptor Worksheet to get a detailed description to share with the operator.

Our SLO’s instructed us that if we see someone knock on a neighbors door and then start making their way to the side or back yard, we should call 911. Explain to the dispatch operator that the suspicious behavior that you witnessed is consistent with the “knock knock” burglar MO that has been prevalent in our neighborhood. Provide as much detail about the physical description of the suspect – see Descriptor Worksheet attached – to the operator so that they can pass it along to the officers. If they will not dispatch an officer, strongly request that they do an “Informational Broadcast” about the incident. (emphasis added) A Broadcast Incident (IB) is a radio broadcast to the Pacific Area officers. Our Pacific Area officers are more informed about the type of crime in our area and if they hear the IB and are available, they can respond. Using this terminology and explaining that your Senior Lead Officer told you to call this in and at a minimum have an Informational Broadcast should get the job done. If not, get the dispatch operators ID # and send a note to your SLO about the incident with the ID # of the operator. Copy me and I will make sure that our Captain is aware of the reporting incident.

I talked about Neighborhood Watch and how to get your group started. I will attach a pdf with information about [starting a neighborhood watch]. The document also includes the phone numbers and email addresses of our Senior Lead Officers and information about when to call 911 and 877-ASK-LAPD.

KHG graciously opened the meeting up to residents outside of the KHG boundaries and we had about 300 people at the meeting. There were only about 15-20 people who raised their hand when asked if they have an active Neighborhood Watch on their block. We need to get more Block Groups in Westchester/Playa. NW can improve the sense of security and community and help to prevent crime through the efforts of watchful people who know their neighbors, their patterns, their cars, etc., and who pay attention to suspicious behaviors and people who do not belong and are confident to call LAPD. The block captains in Westchester/Playa and I are eager to help other Block Groups get started. Please let me know when you are ready.

There is a lot of good information in these attachments. I hope you will review them and share with your friends and neighbors.

Cyndi Hench
President, Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa

My family thanks Mary Putnam and the rest of the KHG Board for pulling together this important event. We’ve been talking a lot at my house lately about forming a block watch. We used to have an extremely watchful neighbor who, sadly, lost her home to a predatory lender, and has moved on. We miss you, L!

Stay tuned because I’ll be watching these developments closely. What about you? Are you interested in getting more involved?

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