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Launched in 2007, The Neighborhoods at Work Initiative is a five year comprehensive plan to revitalize the Park Mesa Heights and Crenshaw community.
Neighborhood safety is one very important part of this initiative.
The goal of this program is to measurably reduce the overall crime rate in this area. This program is working diligently to establish partnerships with law enforcement agencies and engage the community in safety solutions, to reduce gang related crime and violence by increasing youth development opportunities, reintegrate ex-offenders into the neighborhood with positive opportunities and to improve the environmental conditions that promote neighborhood safety,
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Year-to-Date statistics for 2008 show that crime within target area has been reduced by 29%, as compared to 2007.
The LAPD has launched a student boot camp at Audubon Middle School because there was a dramatic increase in violence on the campus and in the community.
The Urban League has worked closely with the neighborhood councils and the block clubs. The information from the block club captions is where the Urban League has focused their efforts.
The California High Way Patrol (CHP) has partnered with the Urban League to help the Urban League achieve their goals. The "Crenshaw Unit" was deployed earlier this year, and their main task is to provide safety around Crenshaw High School.
The Crenshaw High School safe travel program was recently launched. Officers are monitoring the Crenshaw High School area from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., and then again after school from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
"The idea of kids getting mugged to and from school was just a continual drain on kids who were actually trying to go to school and get an education," said Charles Boyd of the Urban League. "A student was mugged this time last year. His backpack was taken, with the homework that he had stayed up all night to complete."
The Crenshaw Unit is also in place to stop the reckless driving that takes place in the early morning hours on weekends.
"This has been a chronic problem that has plagued this community for decades," Boyd said. "It is a bazaar activity that has a lot of block club captions in an uproar."
The hazardous driving between 1 and 4 a.m. is a major problem, and there have been gun shots where bullets have lodged into resident's homes.
When the CHP is patrolling the area there are no issues in the early morning hours on Crenshaw Blvd.
The CHP will also be involved in driver's education and youth development to help make the community a safer place.