Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Safer L.A. River

In recent months, my office has coordinated a new way to make the L.A. River safer. Working with the Northeast Division of LAPD, our Public Works Department, and river neighborhood advocates, we've introduced a system of mile markers and bicycle patrols that allow us to identify and fight crime along the river;‐a critical element in allowing the river to flourish as a part of our community, rather than stay covered up like an unsightly scar.

The river now features mile markers that can be used as addresses along the river; these, combined with regular river bicycle patrols, help citizens and police prevent crime and make the river safe for recreation.

Northeast Division sends a bicycle team to patrol the river six days a week; they cover territory between Los Feliz Boulevard and the 110 Freeway. Since March, they have made ten felony arrests and twenty misdemeanor arrests.

The mile markers will help facilitate responses by LAPD and the Fire Department to emergency calls from citizens along the river. The river markers feature a blue heron and appear every tenth-mile between Fletcher Boulevard and Los Feliz Boulevard. They were initiated by a council motion that Ed Reyes and I wrote together, and eventually they will run all the way to the river’s Long Beach end.