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Commission to Vote July 2 : Police Panel Is Urged to Reject Pacoima Pool Hall

A Los Angeles Police Commission hearing examiner concluded Wednesday that opening a Pacoima pool hall would “directly conflict” with the operation of a mental health clinic next door, and recommended that an application for the pool room permit be denied.

The five-member Police Commission will decide on July 2 whether to accept or reject the recommendation for denial, which comes nearly four months after about 35 San Fernando and Pacoima residents lashed out against the proposed pool hall at a public hearing.

The applicant, Henry Romero, a San Fernando real estate broker, applied for a permit last November to open a bar and pool hall to be called “El Rinconcito” in a small shopping plaza at 11479 San Fernando Road on the Pacoima-San Fernando border. The business would be about 10 feet from the county-run San Fernando Mental Health Clinic.

In February, the city denied a permit for the sale of alcohol at the site. Romero, however, continued to seek a permit to operate the pool hall.

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In his recommendation to the Police Commission, hearing examiner John Rice stated that community leaders and residents provided “clear, convincing and unequivocal” evidence that the pool hall would adversely affect operations of the mental health clinic.

Rice agreed with community protesters that the business would expose mentally ill patients to harassment from pool hall patrons and provide a poor and unstable environment for patients attempting to recover from emotional, alcohol or drug-related problems.

The report stated that, although Romero intended to provide private security at the site, there was “no compelling evidence that his efforts would be in any way successful.”


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