SOUTH GATE : Target Store Is Host for Police Center

Carjacking prevention hint No. 8: If a suspicious person approaches your car, drive away quickly and carefully--even if you must go through a red light.

In a move exemplifying cooperation between the private and public sectors, police last week opened a police information center in the busy parking lot of the Target store at 5700 Firestone Ave. to make crime prevention tips more readily available to the public.

The center, located in a trailer under the Target sign, will be open three or four days days a week, depending on staff availability, said Police Chief Ron George. In addition to providing residents with information on preventing crimes such as carjacking and kidnaping, the center will serve as a meeting point for area police, who can use the facility to prepare reports and communicate with headquarters.

The staff will also provide bicycle safety classes. Officers will not be able to detain crime suspects at the center.


At grand opening festivities Tuesday--replete with beauty queens, area politicians and a police robot called Sparky--George lauded the new center: “This is a win-win situation. The city wins, since its awareness of crime prevention increases, and Target wins, since it gains a police presence on its property,” he said to 40 people on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In the second experiment of this kind, Target is paying all of the police center’s expenses. Last year, Long Beach police established a center at Target’s store at 950 E. 33rd St. in that city.