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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Northridge

Officers Honored for Anti-gang Efforts

October 14, 2000|IRENE GARCIA

Yvonne Miranda, a veteran police officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District, was commended Friday for outstanding service, along with 23 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.

In a brief morning ceremony at the LAPD's Devonshire Division headquarters, the officers were presented with a certificate by City Councilman Alex Padilla.

They were honored primarily for their role in fighting gang-related crime in the San Fernando Valley and their contributions to the Community Law Enforcement and Recovery Program, a 3-year-old initiative that combines the efforts of the LAPD's anti-gang units with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's homicide experts.

The program has cracked down on truancy, enforced gang curfews and worked to clean up several blighted areas, officials said.

"The councilman wanted to recognize the officers and the hard work they do every day to keep our community safe," said David Gershwin, a spokesman for Padilla.

Miranda, a 10-year veteran of the Los Angeles School Police, whose 320 officers patrol LAUSD campuses, works at Monroe High School in North Hills where she has been instrumental in fighting gang activity, her supervisors said.

"We're very proud of her efforts," said Sgt. Jose Santome of the Los Angeles School Police. "It takes a special type of person to have the police mentality but also like kids because they need guidance and counseling."

Santome said Miranda has helped contribute to what he calls a "drastic reduction in crime" at Monroe in the last year.

"There have been no critical incidents--shootings or stabbings--since June of '99," Santome said. "Officer Miranda has definitely gone above and beyond her duties."

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