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Group Won't Halt Drive Against Holiday Gunplay

January 09, 1986|CARMEN VALENCIA | Times Staff Writer

BELL — A group that formed last year to discourage the discharge of firearms to celebrate New Year's Eve will continue its efforts in 1986, despite uncertainty about what effect it had last week.

Neighbors for a Safe New Year's Eve will ask the City Council to take a more active role by helping to publicize the campaign, said Carol Novak, the group's founder and leader. She said the group also plans to work more closely with area churches and enlist the support of large corporations to help spread the word.

"I don't know how much an effect it had," Novak said of the campaign, adding that the air conditioner at her home was hit by a stray bullet on New Year's Eve.

However, she said, she believes the educational campaign was successful. "We did reach a lot of people and many of them thought it was a good idea."

10 Weapons Seized

Bell-Cudahy Police Chief Frank Fording said police responded to five reports of shots being fired on New Year's Eve. There were four arrests and 10 weapons were seized.

Fording said a man in an apartment was hit in the left arm shortly before midnight by a bullet that came in through the window. He said it was a minor injury and blamed the shooting on people who were "drinking and handling firearms in an unsafe manner." No arrest was made.

Although there wasn't a decrease in gunfire, Fording said, "it appears the problem did not increase," due to the group's campaign.

Neighbors for a Safe New Year's Eve formed last year in response to gunfire that has increased with each celebration, Novak said. After kicking off their campaign Dec. 14, members of the group and volunteers passed out almost 10,000 flyers and distributed 600 posters urging residents of Bell and surrounding communities not to use guns to celebrate.

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