Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Lead Toy Exchange Program

This past Saturday, December 20, the City Attorney’s Office sponsored four successful lead toy exchanges at sites across the City of Los Angeles. Because there are no safe levels of lead, City Attorney Office's has worked tirelessly to protect Angelenos from the dangers of lead in the home, and in consumer products.

Dozens of families brought toys to be tested at each of the four sites across the city: Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima, Stoner Recreation Center in Mar Vista, Hollenbeck Recreation Center in Boyle Heights and Green Meadows Recreation Center in South Los Angeles.

Toys that were found to contain lead were exchanged for a $25.00 American Express gift card.

Lead has been listed since 1987 on the Governor's list of chemicals that can cause reproductive harm and birth defects, and since 1992 has been on the list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Exposure to lead occurs chiefly from ingestion, such as eating or putting objects into the mouth, putting young children particularly at risk.

Impacts include birth defects, learning disabilities, hearing loss, reduced attention span, and behavioral abnormalities. Teenagers also can suffer adverse effects, which include brain damage, kidney damage, hearing loss, and impaired growth.

Our thanks to our partners in this effort -the Healthy Homes Collaborative, the Center for Environmental Health and other community-based environmental advocacy organizations.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Graffiti-Free Zone wins National Award

The Met-Life Foundation bestowed its annual “Met-Life Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award” to a team of dedicated neighborhood stakeholders consisting of the City Attorney’s Safe Neighborhoods Division prosecutors, the Newton Community Division officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, and the team at the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) on Friday, December 5, 2008.

The award was in recognition for the “Graffiti-Free Zone” project.
This award, administered by Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) and the Met-Life Foundation, is a prestigious one, handed out only after a nationwide search to find those singular projects that truly embody the concept of ‘‘community.” The ceremony took place at Newton Station, located on historic Central Avenue. Council Member Jan Perry and representatives of the Mayor’s office were also on hand to congratulate the CRCD, the LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office.

The “Graffiti-Free Zone” project was a team effort that targeted a one-mile square area in Los Angeles’ Central Avenue neighborhood where, for years, heavy graffiti plagued the buildings and served as a daily visual reminder to the community of its struggles with gangs, violence, vandalism and crime. This partnership to eliminate graffiti brings together a diverse group of youth and adults committed to a comprehensive graffiti and gang abatement strategy designed to increase neighborhood safety and beauty.

Today, in no small part due to the efforts of the organizations like the CRCD, stakeholders in the community, and, of course, the prosecutors and staff of the City Attorney’s Safe Neighborhoods Division, Central Avenue is flourishing under this community policing project –The Graffiti-Free Zone.
Special recognition is due to Newton Neighborhood Prosecutor Minah Park, Anne Tremblay, Rita Venegas, and the entire Safe Neighborhoods Division. Additional thanks, for their continued partnership and assistance, to the CRCD, the LISC and the Met Life Foundation for their continued dedication to the communities of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Internet Safety Awareness Campaign

The City Attorney Office announced earlier today with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Salesian Boys and Girls Club, the kick off the City of Los Angeles’ Child Abuse and Internet Safety Awareness PSA Campaign. The campaign is designed to raise awareness, prevent child sexual exploitation, and promote Internet safety.

In Los Angeles County alone, the number of child abuse reports has soared to more than 160,000 annually. Studies show that children who experience abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, and childhood abuse and neglect increase the likelihood of adult criminal behavior by 28% and violent crime by 30%. More than 68% of adult male felons were victims of child abuse and neglect before the age of 12, with 64.5% experiencing physical abuse.

Research indicates that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood. Also, according to the latest online victimization research, about 1 in 7 youth online (10 to 17 years-old) received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet.

The new PSA campaign hopes to combat these often unrecognized and underreported issues, by increasing the visibility of available resources. The City Attorney’s Office will begin distributing five posters created by NCMEC and city prosecutors will distribute these poster-size flyers to various community organizations, libraries, community centers and schools so that they can be seen by parents and members of the community throughout LA County.

Through this campaign, the City Attorney’s Office hopes to convey three main messages:

  • Child sexual exploitation is a major problem.
  • If you suspect child abuse or child sexual exploitation, report it to law enforcement.
  • After you have reported the exploitation to law enforcement, it is very important to notify the NCMEC.

The NCMEC encourages the public to access prevention information and report these crimes against children through NCMEC's Hotline (1-800-843-5678) or online at

You can also visit the City Attorney's Child Abuse Policy Division for information and updates on the work of the City Attorney's Office on behalf of children.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

San Fernando Valley Children's Day, a Salute to Kids

On November 22nd the San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs hosted Children’s Day – a Salute to Kids, at Woodley Park in Van Nuys.

While celebrating children, the event also served to make children and their parents aware of various programs that can keep children out of gangs.

The event – which surpassed everyone’s expectations, with nearly 50,000 people in attendance – began with a parade of 1,000 children and three high school bands, in addition to the carnival rides, petting zoo and food vendors.

A resource fair of 60 organizations offered recreational and educational activities for kids. Other features were Radio Disney, the David Beckham Soccer Academy, the Lakers, the Avengers and a space museum. Teen idol Aaron Carter appeared on the main stage while pre-school idol Elmo gave hugs and posed for pictures with more than 3,000 tots and their parents.

Proceeds from the event will be used to fund gang prevention and intervention activities.

A special thanks to Community Resource Specialist Sandy Kievman for her work on the organizing committee for the event and contributing to its success!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Asian Pacific Islander (API) Workshop: Counterfeit Currency Crime

The fight against counterfeit currency is critical to protecting the residents of Los Angeles. Counterfeit currency is linked to street gangs and other criminal organizations. The fake money enables these organizations to engage in other crimes like drug trafficking, identity theft and terrorism.

In addition, widespread use of counterfeit currency can devastate the small businesses that power our local economy. Unfortunately, in the midst of economic crises, such as the one currently facing our economy, local businesses often see a spike in the circulation of counterfeit currency.

For these reasons, it is vital that members of the community educate themselves on how to identify counterfeit dollars, whom to contact to report counterfeit currency crime and how to be protected, so they are not victimized.

Last week, the City Attorney’s Office hosted its first workshop for members of the API community on counterfeit currency crime.

The event was held at Wilshire United Methodist Church on Wednesday, November 19th with members from the API community and outside the community in attendance, as well as members of the media.

Officials from the United States Secret Service’s Counterfeit Currency Section were on hand with a presentation entitled, “How to Detect Counterfeit Currency.”

The United States Secret Service (USSS) presentation included practical tips on how to protect oneself from counterfeit money, information on physical tools to assist in spotting counterfeit currency, and a discussion of counterfeiting “myths.”

To round out the event, the City Attorney’s Identity Theft and Fraud Unit provided an overview on how law enforcement conducts their investigations and prosecutions as well as an explanation of the court process in identity theft and fraud crimes.

The circulation of counterfeit currency affects every level of commerce from neighborhood Mom & Pop stores, to banks and large retail stores, which is why the City Attorney’s Office, alongside attorneys from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the US Attorney’s Office work diligently to prosecute those who are involved in manufacturing and distributing counterfeit currency.

In 2006, the City Attorney’s Office charged three men for passing counterfeit currency at LAX. One of the defendants admitted to knowing how and where to buy the counterfeits. He told authorities that for $400, he was able buy $1,000 worth of counterfeit currency in $100 bills.

He conspired with 2 additional defendants, one who worked at an LAX vending food store, to buy food using the fake $100 bills and thus, laundering the money. Secret Service agents arrested one defendant and used an undercover operation to capture the other two.

Working collaboratively with the LAPD and USSS on another case that same year, the City Attorney was able to charge a man for illegally manufacturing and selling counterfeit currency.

A suspect, who was arrested by LAPD at Universal City-City Walk for passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a cell phone store, was used in an undercover operation to target at the creator of the counterfeit currency.

As a result of the sting operation, Secret Service agents were able to follow the seller to his residence and, upon execution of a search warrant, discover the computer equipment used to produce the counterfeit currency.

The City Attorney’s Office would like to again thank the Asian American Chamber Association, GSD Partners, Inc., LA County Sheriff’s Department - Youth Foundation, Korean American Federation, the volunteer interpreters and the Asian Professional Exchange for their efforts in partnering to make this a success.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Watts Clean Up Day

On Saturday, October 18th, the City Attorney’s Office, along with other partners in the Watts community and in law enforcement, will be participating in a “Community Clean Up” Day.

From 8:00 am until 12:00 pm, members of the community and organizations throughout Watts will be concentrating on community clean up efforts in three locations: Grape Street to include 107th and Santa Ana, the 110 and Dillon Avenue, and San Miguel to include 103rd and Santa Ana.

Clean-up efforts will include graffiti removal, tree planting, and trash pick-up.

Partners in the clean-up effort include the Watts Gang Task Force, the Watts Neighborhood Council, Council District 15, Lighthouse Community Church, the Housing Authority of Los Angeles (HACLA),LA County Sheriff ’s Department, the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the Watts/ Century Latino Organization (WCLO), San Miguel Church, St. Lawrence Church, Weigand Avenue Elementary School, Children’s Institute, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, LAPD – Southeast Ar ea, Southeast Weed and Seed, Neighborhood Youth Achievers, LA DWP, the Gang Alternative Program (GAP), the Board of Public Works, and Heal the Bay.

The City Attorney’s Office would like to thank these partners for their contributions and efforts toward the Clean Up Day. In addition, our special thanks to Neighborhood Prosecutor Sonja Dawson and Community Resource Specialist Irene Del Campo, both of the South Bureau, for their hard work in organizing the event.

Sign-in and supply pick-up begins at 8:00 am. The event will conclude with a lunch at 12:30 pm at both staging areas -107th and Grape Street and San Miguel Church. These sites will be the location that volunteers should go to for sign-in and supply pick-up. All supplies needed for the clean-up efforts will be provided on site. Please join us in making a difference in the community.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Congratulations to ASDCA Kevin Gilligan

Last week, Assistant Supervising Deputy City Attorney (ASDCA) Kevin Gilligan was recognized for his work improving South Los Angeles. St. Michael’s Church bestowed the First “Guardian Angel Award” to ASDCA Gilligan at a ceremony in South Los Angeles.

The neighborhood around the church has a crime rate that is 10 times the national average. Over the past several years, ASDCA Gilligan has created and coordinated a joint City-County task force with LAPD and the LA County Sheriff’s Department and code enforcement agencies that has significantly reduced blight and crime along the LA City and LA County border next to St. Michael’s Church.

Former Mayor Richard Riordan, LAPD Commander Patrick Gannon, LAFD Captain Cook and several community members also received awards.

Our congratulations and thanks to Kevin for his continued work on behalf of the residents of South Los Angeles.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Restitution Checks to be Handed out Tomorrow in "28-Day Shuffle" Case

Tomorrow, Thursday, September 25th, between 1:30 to 5:30 pm, restitution checks will be passed out at the James M. Wood Community Center to identified victims of the Skid Row residential hotel owner Rob Frontiera's unscrupulous business tactics. The restitution checks are the result of the City Attorney’s lawsuit, which alleged that some tenants at the Frontier and Rosslyn Hotels (Frontiera's properties) were evicted without being paid legally required relocation assistance while others were unlawfully moved every 28 days or so in order to deny them legal rights - a practice known as the “28-Day Shuffle”.

The Special Litigation Unit of the City Attorney’s Office reached a settlement for the victims that includes a restitution fund that will be used to pay full relocation restitution owed to former tenants of the Frontier Hotel who had been in occupancy for more than thirty days and were required or persuaded to terminate their residency as part of a partially implemented renovation of the property.

Approximately 30 of the 60-plus people who applied for money under the settlement will be coming in to pick up their checks at the James M. Wood Community Center tomorrow while the remaining victims have asked for their checks to be mailed to them.

Following through with the City Attorney’s commitment to set things right for the Frontier and Rosslyn victims, a claims administrator from the case will be on hand to ensure the smooth delivery of the restitution checks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gangs and Prostitution

Since 2002, more than 1,000 prostitutes have been arrested in the Figueroa Corridor and prosecuted by City Attorney Delgadillo’s Neighborhood Prosecutors.

Recognizing the “revolving door” of recidivism couldn’t be stopped with mere suppression, the Neighborhood Prosecutors knew that something more needed to be done to stem the tide of prostitution along the Corridor. First, the City Attorney’s Office targeted 20 nuisance properties for narcotics abatement. Because drug activity is directly linked to many prostitution cases, the nuisance abatement actions resulted in the reduction of prostitution-related crimes at these locations by 65%.

Continuing on this success, in May, the Office announced the filing of a groundbreaking lawsuit seeking to prevent five pimps and 36 chronic prostitutes from operating in the Figueroa Corridor. Known as the Pimp and Prostitute injunction, these nuisance abatement actions are used throughout Los Angeles to target specific pimps and prostitutes who have repeatedly returned to neighborhood corners despite law enforcement efforts to stop them.

Pimps who are also gang members use their gang profits to finance other illegal and often violent criminal activities. When involved in prostitution, they are also more violent toward the prostitutes they control.

They are more likely to punch, to assault or to kidnap these women and they impose arbitrary rules on the prostitutes in order to maintain dominance. Some even go so far as to brand the women with pieces of searing hot metal.

This Office’s work with LAPD on the Figueroa Corridor injunction has led other Neighborhood Prosecutor’s around the City to investigate the connection between gangs and prostitution.

In August, LAPD officers observed three women exit a vehicle driven by a male and attack a woman and her child. When law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, the victim advised the officers that the male in the vehicle was a pimp and that she had previously refused to work as a prostitute for him.

In retaliation, he had the three women assist him in attacking the woman and her child. In fact, the three women kicked the child of the victim hard enough to knock the child to the ground.

During the attack, the women referenced the Rolling 40’s, a notorious criminal street gang featured in the LAPD’s 2007 list of the top ten most dangerous gangs in the City. The reference by these women to the gang during the attack was an indication of gang membership.

The City Attorney’s Gangs Division determined that all defendants, including the male driver, were Rolling 40’s gang members and that the male had previously been served with a Rolling 40’s gang injunction.

Because the male defendant had been discretely directing activities behind the scenes with both his pimping operation and gang activities, he had, to date, no significant record other than being a known pimp.

Despite a witness who gave a statement to the police on the scene later refusing to appear in court, the gang prosecutor proceeded with the case – which ultimately resulted in both the male and the female attackers pleading to several different counts, including Child Endangerment, Pimping, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and violation of a gang injunction.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Child Abuse Policy Division Update

The City Attorney's Director of Child Abuse Policy has been invited to join the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) review team as a permanent member.

The SCAN team, created by statute in the California Penal Code, is a multi-disciplinary panel of experts established by a hospital and consisting of health care professionals and representatives of law enforcement and child protective services. Essentially, the team is composed of community members actively engaged in the proper identification and documentation of child abuse cases. The team meets weekly at the hospital to review the child abuse and neglect cases processed by any of the UCLA hospitals during the proceeding week.

The UCLA team is led by UCLA Pediatric Medical Director and Professor Claudia Wang, MD and is made up of representatives from the UCLA Clinical Social Work department, pediatric nurses and doctors, Child Life development staff, Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), UCLA emergency room staff, University Police, LAPD and consulting physicians from Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Orange County.

The SCAN team serves as a systematic way of examining the strengths and weaknesses of the hospital response to child abuse and neglect cases and drives policy, protocol and research agendas. In addition, the purpose of personnel disclosing child abuse reports to SCAN teams is to prevent child abusers from attempting to hide the pattern of abuse by taking a child to different hospitals for treatment.

In addition, the City Attorney's Child Abuse Policy Division has created and distributed child abuse screening cards for medical and health care personnel to use when child abuse and neglect cases present in a medical setting.

The 4 x 7 laminated cards were distributed to attendees of the City Attorney's Health Care Summit in May and have been given to pediatric doctors and nurses during training at the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA as well as the UCLA Emergency Room staff to aid in the identification and screening of child abuse and neglect cases.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Upcoming Community Meeting

Neighborhood Prosecutor Rubin Harsoyo will partner with the Harbor Gateway Weed & Seed group, the Harbor LAPD and the Harbor Gateway South Neighborhood Council to conduct another "Tenants Rights and Empowerment Training" for residents of the 204th Street area on August 25th, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the outdoor venue located at Del Amo Boulevard and Denker Avenue in the Harbor Gateway.

Tenants and stakeholders will receive training on dealing with rental issues, improving communications with LAPD and enhancing the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, the Harbor LAPD, the Los Angeles Housing Department and Inquilinos Unidos, a tenant resource group, will provide information on tenant rights and responsibilities under the law, gang prevention, public safety, apartment watch block groups and city services.

Since the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old African American girl, Cheryl Green, by a 204th gang member nearly two years ago, residents, community groups and city agencies are working together to bring positive changes in the neighborhood through apartment owner and tenant training, neighborhood clean up projects and youth activities.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The City Attorney’s “SAUSA Project”

Last year, the City Attorney's Office and United States Attorney Tom O’Brien established a partnership between the prosecutors in the City Attorney’s Gang Division and the gang prosecutors in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California (the “USAO”) to prosecute dangerous and violent gang members in the City of Los Angeles by cross-designating and deputizing a number of experienced city prosecutors as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (“SAUSAs”).

These cross-designated SAUSAs work full time in the Criminal Division of the USAO and prosecute cases involving gang members from the City of Los Angeles who qualify for federal felony prosecution. Currently, the City Attorney’s Office has five prosecutors deputized as SAUSAs; two work for the federal Project Safe Neighborhoods Program and prosecute federal felony cases involving gang members with firearms, a third SAUSA prosecutes cases involving gang members who have committed violations of federal immigration law, and the two other SAUSAs prosecute federal cases involving forfeiture of gang members’ illegally obtained assets. All five existing SAUSAs work exclusively on felony cases arising in the City of Los Angeles. This unique partnership significantly increases the resources of the federal government dedicated to safety and security and brings them to bear on behalf of the residents of Los Angeles.

The project is directed by the USAO’s Gang Coordinator and Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator, as well as the City Attorney’s Director of Gang Operations, to ensure that the most serious gang offenders are targeted for prosecution. In every case prosecuted successfully by these SAUSAs, the convicted gang members will receive significantly longer sentences than they would receive in the state system and they will be incarcerated in federal prisons under federal supervision where they will not be eligible for parole. The result is that the truly hard-core gang offenders are removed from the local communities they terrorize and, where appropriate, the illegal proceeds of their criminal activities are seized.

Some of you no doubt saw coverage of this office’s recent filing of four gang and narcotics abatement lawsuits seeking restrictions, evictions and physical improvements on five South Los Angeles properties known to be hubs of drug activity for the Black P Stone and Rolling 20s criminal street gangs. This coordinated action was the direct result of the City Attorney’s partnership with federal authorities.

In this joint federal and local action, it was a Deputy City Attorney - acting as a SAUSA - who charged the persons responsible for the sale of the illegal firearms with federal firearms violations that could result, if convicted, in lengthy federal prison sentences.

According to federal authorities, many of the illegal guns seized in the Black P Stones and Rolling 20s sweep were purchased in Arizona and transported to LA in as little as two days time. Overall, this seizure resulted in 119 illegal firearms being removed from the South LA community. The two day sweep also resulted in the arrest of 38 gang members and associates.

The gang takedown was a collaborative effort conducted by the Baldwin Village Task Force, which consists of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, LAPD’s Southwest Division, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Our thanks go out to these agencies for their on-going efforts to make Los Angeles safer.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Letters from the Community

Los Angeles’ West Adams neighborhood has endured crime and visual blight in the form of illegal drug use and sales, illegal vending, prostitution, graffiti, dumping, and gang activity for more than twenty-five years. After attending community meetings, the West Adams community members learned about the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program and asked Neighborhood Prosecutor Jan DeAndrade to assist them in abating these problems.

In working to resolve the community’s concerns, she coordinated and collaborated with LAPD, Council Member Herb Wesson’s Office, the Department of Public Works, and local community members to begin restoring hope, law, and order to their neighborhood. The situation is “improving day by day and is evident to everyone who lives here, and is a topic of conversation between neighbors. Everyone notices that it is no longer the chronic, anarchic, lawless, chaotic situation that it once was.”

One member of the community commented, “We still have a way to go, but I'm confident that this territory will…belong to the community and not those who want to exploit it.”

To that effect, the West Adams Quality of Life Committee – part of the West Adams Neighborhood Association – sent this letter to the City Attorney:

Dear Mr. Delgadillo,

I just wanted to let you all know how pleased our committee has been with the help we had from our neighborhood prosecutor, Jan DeAndrade, in our efforts to remedy the blighted and dangerous conditions at the intersection of Crenshaw and Adams Blvds. in West Adams. The day-by- day reclaiming of this intersection has, in no small part, been attributable to the tireless efforts of Ms. DeAndrade.

When our West Adams Quality of Life Committee took on the issue of drug dealing and crime at this intersection, there was a pervasive sense in our community that this situation…had been entrenched for the better part of three decades. It was with an exhausted and bitter resignation that our residents saw this as a lost battle, of no consequence to any but ourselves. The blight at this intersection had caused such community anger that much of it was burned to the ground in the LA riots of 1992. In spite of rebuilding, the grim and corrosive circumstances persisted, created in large measure by the blatant and overt drug dealing of a cartel that swaggered about at all hours with no fear of legal consequence. They claimed our bus shelters, our sidewalks, and large swaths of business property. The intersection was known locally as "Crack Central", and you spent time there at your peril. The drug trade came with its usual fellow travelers: prostitution, burglary, and devastated families.

Our West Adams Quality of Life Committee decided that improving this gateway to our community was imperative. We wanted this intersection back in the hands of residents, rather than under the control of those who sought to exploit and intimidate us. So, we enlisted the support of our neighborhood prosecutor, Jan DeAndrade.

The co-operation we have received from her has been consistent and transformative. She has been the ideal coordinator, pulling together city officials, law enforcement officers, and private business owners needed to work together to turn this situation around. She has encouraged when possible, insisted when necessary, and has not made idle and unfulfilled promises to our community.

Without grandstanding, she has held businesses accountable for eradicating criminal activity on their premises. She has sat through interminable meetings, patiently listening to and addressing a litany of community concerns, and reported progress to our local organizations. She has issued injunctions to prevent criminals from returning to the area upon their release. She has been charming, approachable, reliable, and, above all, relentless in her efforts to help us.

This is how it is supposed to work. This is a real success story of how the neighborhood prosecutor system can take on a daunting and intractable community problem, and make rapid and sustainable progress. The members of our committee wanted to express our gratitude to this particular prosecutor, and to the City Attorney’s Office for initiating this program.


Linda Marais
Writing on behalf of the West Adams Quality of Life Committee

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Upcoming Community Meeting

On July 17, Neighborhood Prosecutor Capri Maddox from the Wilshire Police Area will speak at LAPD's Community Advisory Board meeting about updates from the City Attorney's Office, such as progress on nuisance property demolitions and criminal complaints stemming from arrests within the Wilshire Police Area.

In addition, NP Maddox has invited General Manager James Featherstone of the City's Emergency Preparedness Department to be the guest speaker on how residents can prepare residents for emergencies, such as earthquakes.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, July 17, 2008 in the Wilshire Police Station Roll Call Room located at 4861 West Venice Boulevard, LA, CA. 90019 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

Friday, July 11, 2008

School Safety Prosecutor Veronica De Alba Cracks Down on Inhalant Abuse at East Los Angeles High School

In September of 2007, Deputy City Attorney Veronica De Alba was appointed as the School Safety Prosecutor (SSP) for East Los Angeles’ Roosevelt High School.

Her mission is to prevent crime at, and in the area around, Roosevelt High School through the aggressive prosecution of crimes occurring on and around the campus, as well as developing programs to keep kids safe, out of trouble, and on a path to success.

A few months ago, local parents told Veronica that the parks near Roosevelt were full of air freshener cans and other inhalant products.

Both the LAPD and school police have also confirmed that Roosevelt students and students at other local high schools and middle schools have been found in possession of inhalants while on the school’s campus.

Inhalant use refers to the intentional breathing of gas or vapors in an effort to reach a “high.” Products commonly abused in this fashion include spray paint, air freshener, glue, shoe polish, gasoline or lighter fluid, nitrous oxide, and typewriter correction fluid.

Recognizing that there is a serious problem here, Veronica set about working with the local parents, students, and retailers to develop an Inhalants Prevention Seminar.

As part of this effort, she’s meeting with the students to discuss the health risk of, and laws relating to the possession of, inhalants for the purpose of becoming intoxicated or under the influence.

She’s also working with local retailers to educate them regarding rules and regulations against wrongfully selling to minors products containing certain toxic ingredients.

Retailers in the area who continue to sell dangerous products to minors could face criminal prosecution, including fines and jail time. Interestingly, California is one of the few states that has laws that may be applied to the improper use of certain products that contain toxic ingredients for the purpose of inhaling.

For more information on how you can help to prevent inhalant abuse among our kids, please visit the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition’s (NIPC). The NIPC is the leading national organization dedicated to the prevention of substance abuse through inhalants.