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Commission’s Goal: Make LCF Even Safer

The La Cañada Flintridge city staff is seeking approval for a new Public Safety Education Campaign that will teach residents of the many resources the city has to keep them safe.
“Each year, the Public Safety Commission provides staff with their suggested public safety-related programs to be considered by City Council for funding during the annual budget hearings which are scheduled to be held in June 2023,” according to the Public Safety Commission Agenda Report in March.
The commission plans to push out requested programs and events throughout the fiscal year (July 2023-June 2024).
At the commission’s February meeting, Senior Management Analyst Christina Nguyen emphasized that LCF continues to be one of the safest cities in Los Angeles County. “We do see spikes in residential burglaries overall, but the total number of residential burglaries compared to the community, which has roughly 20,000 residents, continues to be very low,” Nguyen told the panel.
“People still, at our meetings, say they don’t lock their doors. We do live in a safe city and that’s a benefit, but it’s also a detriment because people think they don’t have to [take extra steps for their safety],” added city Community Liaison Officer Eric Matejka.
Some of the programs and resources in place now include a longstanding relationship with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, multiple neighborhood watch groups, and Flock Safety cameras installed throughout the city, to name a few.
To enhance such efforts, the city staff is recommending launching a public safety education campaign that would include safety- and crime-related resources useful for residents, businesses and organizations. It would be posted on the city’s social media platforms, appear in the city’s official Vista newsletter and on the city’s webpage.
Topics would include:
• Home burglary prevention tips
• General personal safety
• Identify theft prevention
• Emergency preparedness
• Traffic safety
• Home fire prevention and safety tips
• Holiday safety tips
The campaign would cost approximately $5,000 to develop, design and produce content.
City Council last summer approved funds for such efforts, Nguyen told the Outlook Valley Sun. “There is $2,000 for public education and $3,000 for a [public service announcement],” she said. “[City] staff is requesting an additional $5,000 during midyear to cover additional costs for the PSA.”
Along with the topics that the city staff suggested, Commissioner Marilyn Smith said last month that she thought that adding neighborhood watch groups to the list would be beneficial to residents.
“We all think everybody knows what that is, but people don’t. Maybe they really don’t understand how it works [or how] you do it,” said Smith.
“I’d like to see a more comprehensive plan. I’d like to see more detail about the initiatives that the Sheriff’s Department will launch. I’d like to hear that [Mayor Keith Eich] has reached out to Sheriff [Robert] Luna and asked him if he can bring any more resources into our community and I think that would address all three components, which is the community engagement, the law enforcement component, and the leadership from the city,” said public speaker Jeff Reeb at last month’s meeting.
“The report tonight was an incentive for a public safety education campaign, but it’s not a plan,” said Matejka, responding to Reeb.
A plan is going to tie together elected leadership, city staff incentives, community incentives and law enforcement initiatives.
Now, city staff is working with the city’s communications team to develop the campaign, according to Nguyen. Once the staff is ready, they will present it to the City Council for approval.

First published in the March 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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