Safety and community were key topics at LBA meeting

| April 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

LAPD OFFICERS Joseph Pelayo and Dave Cordova and Capt. Sonia Monico attended the LBA safety meeting.

More than 80 neighbors participated in a safety meeting hosted by the Larchmont Boulevard Association (LBA) on April 1. The LBA invited LAPD Senior Lead Officers Joseph Pelayo and Dave Cordova along with LAPD Wilshire Division Capt. Sonia Monico. The LBA also invited representatives from Council District 13 (CD13). The Zoom meeting was recorded and is available at The main concerns discussed during the meeting were safety at homes and businesses and the homelessness crisis occurring in the area, specifically on Raleigh Street.

Officer Pelayo spoke of the “abundance of residential burglaries in Larchmont Village in the last several weeks.” He continued by stating, “It is the number one priority for the Olympic Division.”

There were 15 burglaries in the span of four weeks. Two “hot-prowl” burglaries happened during the day while someone was homewhich Pelayo commented is the scariest. Olympic Division has added squad car patrols to the neighborhood as well as undercover units.

Pelayo appealed to all residents to report any and all suspicious activity. “We must get the community involved to catch the burglers.”

When asked the best way to combat the growing crime in the area, all of the officers said “Get to know your neighbors.” They recommended in-person meetings for residents and officers to attend. Another suggestion from one resident was to reinitiate block captains.

Business Nuisance

One viewer, Romi Cortier, brought up an issue his salon on North Larchmont Boulevard has been having for a couple of months.

A well-dressed woman rings his business’s doorbell regularly. She claims to have an appointment, which she doesn’t. Cortier said there have been days when she has rung the doorbell up to 20 times. She is banned. She has become a nuisance.

A representative from DR Pilates, located across the street, chimed in saying the same woman had been coming to their studio months earlier. She refused to pay for her sessions and is no longer allowed in the studio. The person from DR Pilates heard that other nearby merchants had similar issues with this woman.


Camera coverage, especially in the alley behind Wells Fargo Bank, was addressed. How much of the alley is covered by cameras? No one knew, but the LBA was going to look into it.

Placing more cameras in the alley was mentioned as a possible deterrent to crime. In March, a woman was robbed in the Wells Fargo parking lot. Todd Warner of Tailwaggers said that his staff has had issues with crime stemming from the alley.

The Chronicle reached out to Peter Nichols, executive director of Melrose Action, to learn about license plate recognition cameras which have been installed along Melrose Avenue. Nichols said the cameras have changed the type and amount of crimes committed in that area. In addition to curbing crime, LAPD has found the information acquired from the cameras to be extremely beneficial to investigations.

According to Nichols, “Melrose was the first community to use the cameras on a large scale” and it has become a model for the company, Flock Safety. He is currently consulting with numerous municipalities in Southern California to implement a similar program.

Nichols said he’s really happy to see Larchmont business booming, but he thinks it’s time for the Boulevard to get these cameras.


  A homeless man on Raleigh Street near Wilton Place has been violent towards residents for many months, it was reported in the meeting. He has refused services numerous times and continues to live on the street. Neighbors have contacted the office of Council District 13 as well as LAPD on multiple occasions. Neighbors say they are at wits’ end with the situation.

Frustration with CD13

Resident Eve Hyman wanted to know what are her rights? She feels unsafe on her street in that area.

Alejandra Marroquin, a CD 13 District Director, said the councilman’s office is working on a very humane approach to deal with the homelessness situation. His homelessness team is mapping areas, offering services and targeting larger encampments which are mostly in the Hollywood area. His office can only encourage individuals to take housing offers.

Pelayo chimed in, with an air of frustration, saying that this homeless individual is just one block away from two schools, implying something really bad could happen. He continued to say, “We can’t do much without [help from] CD13.”

Resident Pat Kelly stated that Marroquin’s answer to Hyman’s plea for help “was not acceptable from an elected official who is supposed to be looking out for the safety of their residents. It’s far too bland and generic of a response. It’s disheartening.”

Keith Johnson, of Larchmont Village, brought up a homelessness meeting that he had organized with Councilman Soto-Martinez’s office. The Councilman’s office cancelled the meeting at the last minute [but it was rescheduled and took place — Ed.].

The meeting closed with comments from LBA president John Winther and Warner. They said that there is work to be done to improve the safety of the neighborhood and the meeting was a good start.

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