City Councilwoman Nury Martinez and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Mission Division officially kicked off the Volunteer Community Patrol program Thursday, with a goal of reducing the number of residential and motor vehicle burglaries through help from civilian volunteers.
The program is the second in the councilwoman’s district since the West Valley Division VCP was launched last year.
“The people you see before you today are those leaders who are exemplifying to their neighbors what a difference an engaged person can make. The residents of the northeast San Fernando Valley have always been centered around community, which stands to reason on why they decided to take this extra step to increase public safety in their own backyard,” Martinez said during a ceremony at the Mission Community Police Station attended by about a dozen new volunteers.
“I applaud their decision to bring their expertise to LAPD, and for taking on the shared responsibility of keeping our neighborhoods safe,” she said. “The police cannot do it alone, and that’s why programs like neighborhood watches and Volunteer Community Patrol can make such a difference for public safety.”
The program has members of the VCP patrol the area in marked cars in order to provide extra eyes on neighborhoods and when needed, to call in officers. The volunteers have been called in to help establish perimeters at burglary sites, coordinate searches with helicopters, provide traffic control at accident sites, watch for mail and package thieves, and search for lost children, among other tasks, according to Martinez’s office.
LAPD officers also provide training for the volunteers, including driver training, patrol, and radio use.
“The Volunteer Community Patrol detail is a very effective resource that we use in all areas, particularly here in the Mission area,” said Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, commanding officer for the LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau. “We are very much appreciative of Councilwoman Martinez and her staff in bringing this resource to fruition and making it a reality here and supporting it. Without the councilwoman’s support, these details would not be effective.”
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