Los Angeles: In July 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Division established the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) program to foster relationships and trust in the community. Within the short time-frame, the police officers who make up the CSP developed numerous programs with a special focus on mentoring children and community outreach.
One of the more significant stories of outreach took place in the Pueblos housing development when CSP officers met with Semmi, an 8-year-old diagnosed with terminal cancer. The two officers met his family who had a poor perception of police officers and the LAPD. The officers reached out to his family and cultivated a positive relationship with them. The entire Newton CSP team came together and formulated a plan to make special memories for the family through memorable events.
In May of 2016, Semmi was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night and Semmi’s mother’s first phone call was to Newton CSP. Collectively, the officers rushed to the hospital and stayed with the family in shifts. Sadly, Semmi passed in late May of 2017. To date, the CSP officers that became part of Semmi’s family continue their support and friendship with the family.
Because of their compassion for family and community, the Newton CSP continued to develop their outreach in the entire Pueblo Community. The officers established the first ever pop warner football team called The Pueblo United. The team remained undefeated during two of their NFL flag football games. This team is not only coached by LAPD officers, but community members assist with the coaching and training of the youth.
The officers also established two girl scout troops in two of the elementary schools in the Pueblos which are co-lead by the teachers and the staff. This is the first ever girl scout program in the Pueblos. The girls are busy earning their patches and have already received their fishing patch, robotics patch, and tea patch.
CSP also established a senior bingo day and outreach to the senior citizens. The officers run the bingo programming at the Slauson Recreation Center and have also taken the seniors on numerous field trips.
The Community Safety Partnership has also held numerous forums for domestic violence, immigration, work resources, as well as parenting classes. They have also partnered with Pepperdine University to host an expungement clinic to assist with legal aid for residents.
As a result of their hard work and dedication, the Newton CSP was presented with the following awards from local and statewide organizations:
•Police Officer Association of Los Angeles County: Centurion Award for Community Outreach by the for their outreach to the community and helping Semmi, a young by with terminal brain cancer. •American Legion: Regional Officers of the Year for Community Outreach •California Police Officers Association: Award of Distinction for Community Outreach
For more information regarding the Newton Division Community Safety Partnership program, please call Sergeant Heidi Stoecklein at (714) 222-7079.