By Mary O’KEEFE
The old fashion cop on the beat has gone from the uniformed patrolman walking the neighborhoods to patrolling from helicopters. Recently the value of law enforcement knowing their community has been recognized with smaller units being assigned specific areas and officers getting to know the communities they protect.
An example of that back to basics kind of law enforcement could be seen this weekend as Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies Chad Pluimer and Luke Hallack patrolled the Crescenta Valley Park during the Home Town Country Fair.
The two deputies are part of the department’s Parks Bureau. Since the late 1990s L.A. County Park Police through the Office of Public Safety were responsible for patrolling public parks with L.A. County. In December 2009 the L.A. County Board of Supervisors merged the County Police with the Sheriff’s Department. The merge went into affect mid-year 2010, absorbing the Office of Public Safety.
Pluimer used to be with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station before transferring to the park’s bureau. He now works out of the Castaic office.
“Out of Castaic [deputies] cover from Antelope Valley to Altadena,” he said. “My partner and I cover the valley from Granada Hills and Sylmar to Altadena.”
Pluimer said the patrols are seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Deputies patrol in vehicles, walking and on bicycles. The two deputies were riding bikes through Crescenta Valley Park during the weekend event.
“For us this is great. We get to go out and ride bikes and mingle with the public. A lot of times while at stations you don’t get to go out into the community like this,” Pluimer said.
The patrols seemed to have affected parks in a positive way. Sometimes it is just the presence of law enforcement.
“There are some parks, not in this area but in others like Altadena where there were some gang activity in the parks,” he said.
After about a month of regular patrol the gang activity ceased.
“They weren’t used to seeing many [patrols] there,” Plumier said.
Pluimer and Hallack patrol CV Park and Two Strike Park in the Crescenta Valley area.