Volunteers to Display Safe House Triangles
They may be green, but the newest soldiers in the San Fernando Valley’s fight against crime have finally arrived. One hundred plastic green triangles to mark “Safe Houses” where children can flee to in an emergency are expected to appear in the windows of West Valley homes by September.
The 6-inch fluorescent triangles are part of a program launched in January by the Los Angeles Police Department West Valley Division in response to a series of molestation attacks on children.
Since then, West Valley police have been visiting schools in the area to recruit volunteers who have agreed to be home between 7 and 9 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m., when children walk to and from school.
Volunteers are screened by police for criminal records before they can display a triangle. About 33 homes have already been screened, and police hope to give the go-ahead to about 60 more before school starts in the fall. Stephanie Tisdale, the West Valley senior lead officer who started the program, said response by parents and community members at the 10 schools she has visited has been very good.
“The only problem was, it took us forever to get the triangles,” Tisdale said. “But now we’ve got them, so we’re doing OK.”
The triangles are marked with a complex police numbering system to prevent fakes.