CV will feel affects of GPD cuts

On Wednesday and Thursday, Glendale City Council listened to police and fire officials, park rangers and other government departments on how they would recommend cutting their budgets by another 5% to 7.5%.

Retiring police Chief Randy Adams and new interim chief Ron De Pampa outlined their proposed cuts. Several programs were on the chopping block including vice detail, Special Enforcement Detail (SED), gangs' detail and some community policing programs like COPPS.

In recent weeks Crescenta Valley has seen how valuable these details can be.

Last week, Glendale vice detail discovered a home that was allegedly used for high-end gambling on Hermosita Drive in the Verdugo Woodlands area. Neighbors complained about noise, traffic and unusual activity at the residence.

“Vice set up surveillance on the house for a few weeks,” said Sgt. Scott Johnstone.

On May 12, officers made one arrest on suspicion of possession of a narcotic and cited a driver on suspicion of possession of a narcotic while driving.

Johnstone said officers asked the tenant of the home for permission to enter. They found a larger poker table, ledgers that recorded information and a large white board that kept track of gambling. There was a room that had been fitted with a ventilation system to clear smoke from occupants at the poker table.

Officers are now assessing if the tenant violated any zoning laws with his home gambling.

“The tenant told us that some of the pots were as large as $10,000,” Johnstone said.

Mirna Stanley is president of the Verdugo Woodlands West Homeowner's Association and was witness to the vice detail's action in the neighborhood.

“The vice officers did a phenomenal job,” Stanley said. “They were staking out this place, they spent a lot of time there.”

Stanley added the gambling home's occupants and visitors did not just affect those neighbors next to the residence but the entire neighborhood and beyond. Fast cars would drive up and down the neighborhood streets all hours of the day and night.

“Then vice got involved,” she said. “After the arrest the officers were so polite, they told neighbors what was going on.”

She said the value of the vice detail was evident by the officers' work. The detail was also responsible for a prostitution arrest a few years ago on Honolulu Avenue and over the last two years they have made over 200 arrests for isolated crimes and prostitution throughout Glendale. They visit liquor stores, bars and stores that sell cigarettes, making certain they are following codes and are not selling to minors.

During a recent “john sting” officers from vice observed two males coming out of a hotel in Glendale.

“They were pimping out 16-year-old runaways as prostitutes,” Johnstone said.

Glendale City Council now has the respective budget proposals and will be making the difficult decision of what will be cut, and what will be saved.

“I strongly encourage residents to contact their council member and let them know how [they feel],” Stanley said. “It is about the personal safety of our neighborhoods.”

CV Valley Sun invites residents to weigh in on the cuts by writing a letter to the editor.

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