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Anti-Crime Plan Unveiled at Home Demolition

November 16, 2001|DALONDO MOULTRIE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Residents of Highland Park worried that an abandoned property near Garvanza Elementary School was being used for illegal activities, so they sought a way to make the neighborhood safer.

On Thursday, the property, an abandoned house at 312 N. Avenue 62, was demolished by Los Angeles city workers as a "nuisance property."

City Councilman Nick Pacheco, who arranged for the property to be boarded and fenced before demolition, and City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo used the occasion to unveil the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program, a neighborhood improvement proposal that Pacheco plans to present to the City Council today.

The proposal calls for 15 deputy city attorneys, one for each council district, to work with neighborhood leaders and Los Angeles police to fight crime, Pacheco said. The proposal asks the council to use nearly $2.5 million from the city's reserve fund for the project. "The No. 1 priority of government is to ensure the community and people are safe," Pacheco said.

Addressing a small crowd of reporters and community members Thursday in front of the demolished property, which will be the new site of a playground for the elementary school, Delgadillo called for the community to come together to help reduce illegal activities.

"The whole country is focused on terrorism from [abroad], but there's terrorism in our own neighborhoods," he said. "We need to protect our neighborhoods."

Rosa Rivas, who has lived a block from the site for 18 years and has four adult children and four young foster children, said she was happy to see the abandoned house removed from the neighborhood.

"This means safety for the Garvanza schoolchildren," Rivas said.

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