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.