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Police Stress Public Involvement : Law enforcement: New efforts include hot lines in four languages, free deadbolt locks for senior citizens and anti-crime programs.


MONTEREY PARK — Crime hot lines in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish; free deadbolt locks for senior citizens, and anti-crime programs are part of the Police Department's new efforts at community-based policing.

"We want to create a new perception out there that we know what the community needs," Police Capt. Jim Strait said.

The phone lines for anonymous tipsters to report crime information will be available in two weeks, and police plan to advertise the numbers, Strait said. Money for the locks and installation is being solicited from businesses.

Community-based policing is a loosely defined effort to sensitize police to residents and businesses in the areas that they patrol. The Monterey Park crime programs include:

* A community forum for residents and police to discuss crime and safety issues, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

* A Neighborhood Watch meeting on crime trends and efforts to involve residents in fighting crime, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall community room.

* A first-ever Business Watch meeting, the business owners' equivalent of Neighborhood Watch, at 7 p.m. Thursday in the City Hall community room.

* A Drug Abuse Resistance Education program for area students at 10 a.m. Friday in the council chambers.

Judy Tung, secretary of the Monterey Park Downtown Merchants Assn., welcomes the effort. "We would always receive a call from the police association, saying they wanted us to donate money to buy tickets" for police benefits, said Tung, who owns a public relations firm on Garvey Avenue.

"This is the first time they say they want to know us, want to talk to us, to let us know they care."

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