Topanga Community Police Advisory Board
Topanga Police Station
21501 Schoenborn Street
Canoga Park, CA. 91304
Minutes of the June 12, 2013
I. CPAB Co-Chairman Bob Basch called the meeting to order at 1705 hrs and led the salute to the flag.
II. Co-Chairman Basch dispensed with the process of approving Minutes of the Previous Meeting due to the May minutes not turned in yet.
III. Officer Todd Jaron introduced our new Captain, Capt. Justice, who told us a bit about himself including the fact that he has San Fernando Valley experience as a Senior Lead Officer in the East Valley and as Captain at The West Valley Division Police Station. He offered a few personal facts as well.
IV. Capt. Justice solicited a round of introductions from the members in order to begin to get to know them, and the members present offered information as to previous LAPD experience and how they came to be affiliated with the Topanga CPAB. The Captain responded with his stated goal of creating a “true partnership with the community”.
V. Sgt. Tom Mason discussed crime trends in the division based upon Compstat information.
A. There has been an increase in property crime and a small increase in violent crime (much of the latter gang related). Specifically he mentioned problems with Burglary from Motor Vehicles and with home burglaries as well.
B. He made the following recommendations for members to share with their community constituencies. In addition to the usual advice to harden the target and “Lock It Hide It Keep It”, Sgt. Mason recommended taking one’s garage lock clicker out of one’s car when the car is left in public parking or on the street. Similarly one should remove ones car registration and insurance card from the glove box and keep it in one’s wallet instead. In general, he said, “don’t leave anything with your address on it in your car” and clearly don’t leave valuables in your car.
C. Further recommendations from Sgt. Mason: Burglars, he noted, are renting high end cars to use as they travel through neighborhoods including Mercedes Benz and BMW cars. He reminded us that door-to-door solicitations are illegal and are often a way to gain admittance to houses or to “case” houses and identify places where nobody is home.
VI. Officer Jaron introduced a social network called “Nextdoor Neighborhood” that has proven useful for Neighborhood Watch groups. Participation in this network is by invitation only. Although the network was developed for socializing and service referrals, what has happened in Officer Jaron’s neighborhood as a response to a proliferation of Burglaries from Motor Vehicles was the use of the program as a real time communication tool. Officer Jaron called it a “very good tool”.
VII. Officer Jaron returned the floor to Sgt. Mason for a discussion of Constitutional Policing. Sgt. Mason reminded us that although LAPD was released from its Consent Decree in May, programs that were put in place as a result of the Consent Decree are still in use. For example, he said the protocols for following up on Use of Force Situations remain stringent: a sergeant must investigate Use of Force incidents, and if the Use of Force involved a sergeant, that sergeant cannot conduct the investigation. In that circumstance a Watch Commander must investigate.
VIII. Co-Chair Basch announced that volunteers are needed for an exercise on June 26th. However it was later determined that the June 26th exercise has been postponed.
IX. Officer Jaron announced that the change of hour for CPAB meetings (2nd Wednesdays at 7 p.m.), which the CPAB Executive Committee approved, has elicited objections from some members. This meeting was originally a 7 p.m. event, and Capt. Brascia changed the time to 6:30. That earlier hour caused a conflict with the Cadets, who were using the Community Room, thus the recent change to 7 p.m. In order to hold a 6:30 meeting, the day will need to be changed. Discussion ensued. Officer Jaron will set up alternative days and times and send them out in an email. The members will vote for their preference by return email, and a day and time will be set by majority rule.
X. Officer Jaron announced that Gail Cane has resigned the post of Membership Chairperson. Members interested in taking her place on the Executive Committee should indicate their willingness to serve in an email to Officer Jaron and to Susan Klenner (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Executive Committee will interview the applicants and, in accordance with the Bylaws, select a candidate whose name will be forwarded to Capt. Justice for final approval.
XI. Co-Chair Basch discussed another issue raised after perusal of the Bylaws. CPAB members are required to participate in at least one committee or attend the annual CPAB Symposium. Many of the CPAB members appear not to be meeting this requirement. Officer Jaron will address this issue going forward.
XII. Co-Chair Basch made a brief presentation about the activities of the new CPAB Valley Bureau, in which all Co-Chairpersons participate. There are seven divisions in the Valley Bureau. They represent one-third of the divisions in the city, but they serve 50% of the population. Goals have been established for the CPAB Valley Bureau and announced by Chief Paysinger and Chief Blake. Co-Chair Basch will keep us informed as to the goals and requirements, and he will solicit members to participate in meeting these goals.
XIII. Officer Jaron turned the floor over to Susan Klenner for an update on T.R.U.E. Susan noted the progress that has been made in the front yard (hose bibs installed to facilitate watering). She also noted that manpower is needed to pull weeds before they scatter their seed. She announced that the Boosters fundraising event, Celebrating Topanga, which used to be held at the Hilton, is going to be held at the station on November 8th, by which time the patio will need to be in good shape. CPAB took on the relandscaping, care and maintenance of the patio zone, so Susan will be needing volunteers from CPAB to serve on a committee that will participate in this project in order to meet the November 8th deadline.
XIV. Coming Events
A. 4th of July
B. National Night Out August 6th
C. Station Open House in conjunction with planting day in October
XV. There will be no CPAB meeting in July; Date and Time of August meeting To Be Determined by result of poll of membership
XVI. The meeting was adjourned at 2005 hours.