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Police Patrols in the Pico Neighborhood

March 07, 1993

While we heartily appreciate the coming return of a police substation to the Pico neighborhood and the new addition of a five-man foot patrol, (Times, Feb. 18), we take exception to Police Chief James T. Butts' idea of the perceptions of this neighborhood.

When we hear semiautomatic weapons being fired within 20 feet of our front doors an average of once per week, when a teen-ager is shot in the head just after the then-substation closed for the evening, when girls are shot while sitting in their car just 1 1/2 blocks away from our residences, and when only just two weeks ago a teen-ager was stabbed to death on a Sunday afternoon--I can assure you this is our reality! Do not think for one moment that we taxpayers, citizens, positive contributors to the economics of Santa Monica, harbor unwarranted fears and have a perception problem. We most certainly do not! When we read that Police Chief Butts feels that we perceive the crime rate to be higher than it is, it is almost enough to just give up hope of our city doing the right thing.

The reality is this: Our neighborhood will now be getting the policing it had two years ago. The reality is: That we will all work with the Police Department in any way we can. The reality is, as Councilman Kelly Olsen stated: "This neighborhood has been passed over for far too long." The reality is: That three to four months to implement a substation is too long a wait. The reality is: Too many young people have lost their lives to murderers on our streets in Santa Monica, not to mention those that have been accosted by criminals and fortunately did not lose their lives. Come on Police Chief Butts, do the right thing, and do it now.

M. J. BELL and

ROSEMARY CUADROS

Santa Monica

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