ECHO PARK—As a complementary effort to the Glendale Corridor Gang injunction, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office will be launching a “Safe Passage Program” at Betty Plasencia Elementary School in Echo Park.
A “Safe Passage Program” places volunteers along routes that students and parents use to get to school to ensure their safety. These volunteers keep an eye out and report any accidents or criminal activity they witness.
“City Attorney [Mike Feuer] is very well versed in the power of community based outreach and prevention efforts,” said Deputy City Attorney Veronica De Alba.
The “Safe Passage Program” is not unique to the City Attorney’s office but Alba said many routes have fallen “by the wayside due to financial difficulties.” However, since it was found to be effective, the City Attorney’s office looked to restart the program.
The City Attorney’s office is looking to monitor an “L” shaped alley that many Betty Plasencia families use to walk to the elementary school.
Previously filled with debris, the City Attorney’s office worked with Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo’s office to clear the alley and to create the program to monitor the area. Both city offices are looking into paving the road and getting streetlights installed.
“It echoes the city attorney’s approach to a collaborative effort within the city family,” De Alba said.
The program is currently looking for volunteers, mainly parents and neighbors of the school but anyone interested is welcome.
“[We are looking for] as many [volunteers] as we can,” Administrative Coordinator with the City Attorney’s office Armida Bayliff said. “The more eyes we have the better. I think it would lend itself to making it safer for the kids.”
Volunteers need to be available either from 7:50 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. or from 2:20 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Volunteers will be finger printed and background checked, expenses paid for by the City Attorney’s office. Those interested should call (213) 978-4090.
Deputy City Attorney De Alba said funds for the program will come from donations raised by the City Attorney. The program is expected to begin in about two months.
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