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Bernardi Offers $70,000 From Office Budget for Extra Police

June 04, 1987

City Councilman Ernani Bernardi on Wednesday offered to give $70,000 from his council office budget to pay for police task forces to combat narcotics trafficking and burglaries in his northeast San Fernando Valley district.

Part of the money would be used for an education campaign to discourage the shooting of firearms during holidays, said Bernardi aide Gayle Johnson.

The motion is expected to win approval from the full City Council when it is voted upon Tuesday, since council members usually let their colleagues spend their office budgets as they see fit.

Most of the money would pay overtime wages for a small squad of officers targeting street narcotics sales in the San Fernando Gardens and Van Nuys-Pierce Apartments in Pacoima, and the Astoria Gardens in Sylmar, said Los Angeles Police Capt. William Pruitt.

An anti-burglary car with two officers will combat burglaries in Sylmar. Although there has been no rise in burglaries, police logged 190 residential burglaries and 21 business burglaries in the 12.3-square-mile community in the first three months of 1987, Pruitt said.

Police hope to use part of the money on pamphlets, to be distributed by police Explorer Scouts, discouraging shooting of firearms on holidays.

Police expect the $70,000 to last eight to 10 weeks. In March, 1985, Bernardi provided $45,000 from his 7th District budget to start an anti-burglary squad credited by police with significantly decreasing burglaries in Van Nuys.

In May, 1986, Bernardi provided $15,000 for an anti-prostitution task force working on Sepulveda Boulevard in Mission Hills and Sepulveda. Bernardi gave $83,000 in July and August last year for assorted anti-drug and prostitution task forces in the district, Johnson said.

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