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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NORTH / ANAHEIM

Police Chief Pledges Jeffrey-Lynne Support

April 15, 1998|DEBRA CANO

Responding to complaints from residents of the Jeffrey-Lynne neighborhood, Police Chief Randall Gaston pledged this week to work with them and develop a plan to fight crime.

Community leaders said the plan is a positive step in building cooperation and understanding. Relations with police have been strained since a one-day crackdown on traffic violations last month in the neighborhood.

"This is the first time we've accomplished something," said Jessica Castro, president of United Neighborhoods, a facilitator between residents and police the past five months.

The chief's comments came during a town hall meeting Monday in which residents continued to question the March 14 traffic enforcement. On that day, officers handed 34 citations to residents for minor violations, including expired vehicle registration and illegal parking.

Residents said police should be concentrating on more serious crimes and have accused officers of retaliation because the crackdown came two days after two police motorcycles were vandalized in the neighborhood.

Police denied that the citations were made in retaliation, but Gaston said there will be an investigation into allegations that officers told residents the enforcement was a payback.

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