SOUTH LOS ANGELES — In an effort to build a safer and healthy community, CityCouncilman Curren Price welcomed 10 specifically trained Los Angeles Police Department officers April 15 who will be working with local residents to reduce violent crime in the South Park area in Council District 9.
The new community safety partnership program aims to build trust between residents and law enforcement by developing sports, recreational and other community programming.
“My office constantly hears that South Park continues to be unsafe and dangerous,” Price said. “With the help of this community-driven program, we will transform South Park into a safe haven that will allow our families to build memories; our children to run freely; and the community to gather during the day and night.”
One of the main facets of the program is incorporating free community and youth programs, which are expected to begin as early as the fall. Some of the programs that have been implemented as a result of other community safety partnerships areyouth football, Girl and Boy Scouts troops, employment training, medical services and educational programs, to name a few, Price said.
The community-based policing program includes a substation at South Park, which will be overseen by Sgt. Ronald Kingi.
“My passion is to truly help this community thrive because I don’t believe in the saying, ‘Well, this is just the way things are,’” Sgt. Kingi said. “My family is from this neighborhood, and I was brought up in a similar community so I understand and share those same frustrations. I am committed to meet the community where they are, build long-term positive relationships and work together in expecting more out of life for a better future.”
The community safety partnership program originated in 2011 at public housing communities to help curb violence. The South Park program was made possible thanks to a $750,000 grant from the Ballmer Group for the next three years.
“Ballmer Group is excited to support the expansion of LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership to South Park,” said Nina Revoyr, Los Angeles executive director for the Ballmer Group. “Community safety partnerships have a proven track record of shifting the dynamics between law enforcement and community residents — resulting in a greater level of trust, and a decrease in crime.”
“At a moment when South LA is experiencing an uptick in violence, it is especially important that the community and LAPD work together. Community safety partnerships’ relationship-based policing model, combined with strong resident leadership, will result in a safer, healthier community for the children and families of South Park.”
Price said he is committed to identifying and securing funding sources for subsequent years. All community and youth programs will be free to local families.
Wave Staff Report