Studio City citizen crime fighters say they will turn to the airwaves today to raise money for their efforts as amateur sleuths.
John DePascale of the South End Strike Force, a volunteer group that has helped police apprehend criminal suspects, is scheduled to appear on KTLA-TV (Channel 5) this morning to hawk Neighborhood Watch T-shirts.
Proceeds from selling the $20 shirts will be used to purchase 10 to 15 walkie-talkies that the group will use to communicate with the Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood Station, DePascale said.
“We’re providing the eyes and ears for the sworn police officers on duty,” said DePascale, who coordinates the Strike Force. “The radios are the essential link in our crime-suppression program.”
Currently, the 20-member group shares three radios that have been used on undercover stakeouts to help police arrest rape, grand theft auto and burglary suspects. Formed last year, the group works on police stakeouts several times a month.
The T-shirts display an LAPD-style badge with the words “EYES AND EARS” on the front. The back of the shirt has the words “NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH” and “LAPD” and “We Are Building An Army,” DePascale said.
Sgt. Bill Martin, who will appear on the program with Officer Jim O’Riley, said the Police Department has no part in the shirt sales but supports the need for more radios, which cost $600 apiece.
“It would benefit the community,” Martin said.