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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Ventura

Mall's Newest Tenant? The Police

May 18, 2000|GAIL DAVIS

Right now its decor consists of stacked files, moving boxes and dormant computers.

And the work consists of giving directions to straggling shoppers who are looking for the mall's food court.

But all that will change Saturday, when the Police Department's newest storefront office opens at Pacific View Mall.

Squad cars, K-9 officers and SWAT teams will be on hand to help families celebrate on opening day, but after that the real work begins, said Cpl. John Snowling, one of two officers assigned to the office.

Two civilian police service officers and at least 20 volunteers will staff the office, which will be open whenever the mall is. It is located next to Robinsons-May department store.

The $90-million, newly renovated mall was chosen as a site for a new police office for its heavy foot traffic, Snowling said. It's a convenient place for residents to take care of parking citations, alarm permit applications and other police business.

And a police presence should also discourage gang activity, which has not yet been a major problem there. Snowling wants to keep it that way.

"We have zero tolerance for gang activity, flashing gang signs," he said.

The new mall has had only one gang-related problem. In December, two gang members were arrested for trying to fight with members of a rival gang.

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