YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Troubled Complex Won't Get Officer

May 18, 2000|JOSH KARP

Despite a petition from the residents of a condominium complex where a fatal shooting occurred last month, the City Council voted early Wednesday against returning a part-time police officer to the Newbury Park neighborhood.

Council members who voted down the proposal said bringing an officer back to the Conejo Creek complex would not stop crime and would instead take resources from other parts of the city.

Sheriff's Cmdr. Keith Parks, who serves as the city's police chief, said placing an officer in the community would be premature, as his office is working with city staff on a report outlining an overall crime-fighting strategy for the complex.

Councilwoman Linda Parks, who backed the plan, said the best short-term strategy is to put an officer back at the complex, where one had been for six months last year.

"It's not just proactive in crime, but sends a message to criminals," Parks said. "I think it helps reduce residents' fears and shows that the city is dedicating an officer in that area because there is a special need now."

Only Councilman Dan Del Campo supported her motion.

Instead, the council unanimously agreed to initiate a decoy police car program. The Sheriff's Department will station a backup police vehicle at a number of locations around the city on various days and hours. There would be no officer in the car, but its presence is expected to deter crime, said Councilman Mike Markey, who suggested the program.

Los Angeles Times Articles