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Police Step Up La Colonia Patrols After Arson

September 19, 1992

Oxnard Police Chief Harold Hurtt will send round-the-clock foot patrols into the city's La Colonia district this weekend in response to retaliation against a family who donated space for a storefront police station in the barrio.

Arsonists set fire early Thursday to the La Paloma Loncheria in the 300 block of Cooper Road, less than 48 hours after the City Council agreed to establish a substation in a vacant building connected to the restaurant.

Police had no suspects Friday in the attack.

"We're going to let people know we're there," Hurtt said Friday, noting that extra patrols have been assigned indefinitely to La Colonia. "We want to establish a very high presence in the area."

Fulgencio and Consuelo Camberos, who have owned La Paloma for 13 years, offered the building earlier this week for use as a police storefront.

City officials initially planned to open the station in mid-November, but Hurtt said he now plans to open the station early next week.

Two officers and perhaps a commander will work full time at the station in an attempt to foster better relations between police and area residents. Police consider the area to be a haven for drug dealers and violent criminals.

"It's unfortunate that this would happen when people are trying to take back their community," said Hurtt, who became chief two months ago. "But the community is not giving up and I'm just starting."

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