It's hard not to notice the additional police presence at the North Hollywood -Amelia Earhart Regional Library located at 5211 Tujunga Ave.
As you pass by, two patrol vehicles are usually parked just outside the front doors on the grass area accompanied by two uniformed LAPD officers.
The high visibility is probably something long overdue at this location. Officers are now working this detail during the normal hours of operation seven days a week. At this time it’s a temporary solution that has approval until July 1. Everyone, including myself is hoping the pilot program is extended.
As people enter, their first assumption is to just assume something is wrong and the police responded to another radio call for service. Now that it has been going for almost eight weeks, noticeable changes are definitely observed. Not only by the library staff and people who utilize the library but also by the Los Angeles Police Department.
As the Senior Lead Officer for the area, I see the complaints, the calls for service and the criminal activity that has been associated in and around the library. In the short time, radio calls have been reduced and measured crime in the area has decreased significantly.
This added patrol is a direct result of a proposition passed by voters and is coming directly from library funding. As a result, police officers are not being reassigned from patrolling the neighborhood streets for this library assignment but are all working on scheduled days off.
I invite you to come back to your community library. It's still not perfect but these small changes to date have really made a remarkable difference for everyone. Who knows, you may even catch one of your favorite police officers reading a story to our newest and youngest members of our community who just discovered this great historic building.
John Catalano is a veteran police officer of 21 years currently assigned as the Senior Lead Officer for the NoHo Arts District. Ant questions or comments can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook at "NoHo SLO."
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