Monterey Park : Protests Over Parole Office

Residents angry about a state parole office on Alhambra's border with Monterey Park have persuaded local legislators and city officials in both communities to seek the facility's relocation.

Officials from the two communities plan to meet today to discuss "the inappropriate location" of the office at 1721 West Garvey Ave., according to Alhambra City Manager Kevin Murphy.

Last Monday night, city councils in both cities heard complaints from residents. With a standing-room-only crowd at Monterey Park City Hall, the council voted 5 to 0 to ask state corrections officials to relocate the office. The office opened in February in a neighborhood of single-family homes and near several public and private schools.

Monterey Park police said crime has increased in the neighborhood since the office opened but added that they have no evidence that any of the crimes have been committed by parolees. The office serves more than 1,000 former prisoners who live in the west San Gabriel Valley and in East Los Angeles.

The office has nearly two dozen parole officers who carry handguns and, corrections officials say, essentially serve as additional police for the two communities. "We feel we make the community safer and we are going to do what we can to make sure things stay nice and quiet," said Jerry DiMaggio, a regional director with the state Department of Corrections.

DiMaggio said a parole office located on West Main Street in Alhambra for 10 years has never caused any problems.

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