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News Release

Thursday, January 27, 2000

Media Relations

Devonshire Volunteer Surveillance Team

Thursday, January 27, 2000

Devonshire Volunteer Surveillance Team

The award-winning Volunteer Surveillance Team (VST) continues its partnership with the LAPD, Devonshire Community Police Station and reports that 1999 was its most successful year ever. This group of community volunteers, working with officers, have assisted police in making nine hundred arrests from April to December 1999.

The Volunteer Surveillance Team, founded in 1992, consists of a group of fifty citizens who live in The Devonshire Area and are trained by the police to work on identified crime problems. During the past eight years, they have volunteered 29,620 hours; saving the City of Los Angeles $1,125,560 in officer's salaries. They have been responsible for helping the police capture rapists, graffiti taggers, drug dealers, burglars, auto thieves, and juvenile delinquents.

The Devonshire Volunteer Surveillance Team Against Truancy(DEVSTAT), was conceived in 1999 by Officers Don Graham and Brian Lafferty, Volunteer Surveillance Team's Officers-in-charge. They target truant juveniles at local high schools, which has resulted in four-hundred twelve arrests. Subsequent reports have shown a significant drop in crime in neighborhoods adjacent to these schools. As a result of the Volunteer Surveillance Team's actions, Granada Hills High School received an award from the Los Angeles Board of Education for outstanding attendance.

Volunteer Surveillance Team members, once they have passed a background investigation, receive training in surveillance, safety, and radio procedures. Training is an ongoing process with the men and women of the Volunteer Surveillance Team and safety is the number one priority. Members are never put in unsafe situations and are supervised by police officers at all times. The team is proud of their record; no one has ever been injured or compromised while working a detail. They are currently recruiting new members. If you live in the Devonshire Community, and are interested in participating in this unique and exciting program, contact Officer Don Graham or Officer Brian Lafferty at Devonshire Community Police Station, 818-756-8291.

For Release 4:30 pm PST
January 27, 2000