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All invited to a town hall meeting

Posted by on Sep 11th, 2010 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Mary O’KEEFE

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, the Glendale Police Department and the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition will be hosting a town hall meeting. The meeting will educate parents on drugs and other issues that their children could be facing and provide resource information.
To better serve their communities, the Glendale police have officers assigned to specific command areas. Crescenta Valley is in the North Area Command.
“One of the strategies [of the command areas] is to get connected and be responsive to the community,” said Chief Ron DePompa.
The town hall meeting is one way to reach out to the community and answer questions that many residents have as to what is happening in the area.
“We are not going to scare people or to talk about one specific topic, but with school starting it is a good time to provide parents with information,” said Lt. Ian Grimes, North Area Command.
DePompa will speak on several topics, including marijuana use, and touch on  the upcoming vote on Proposition 19, which if approved would legalize marijuana.
“[The proposal] is poorly written. It would virtually eliminate any kind of effective enforcement,” DePompa said.
There will be a presentation on pain medication and pharmaceuticals in the home. This, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is one of the fastest growing drug abuse issues among teenagers.
DePompa added that Crescenta Valley is not alone with dealing with drug issues. The Town Hall meeting will give parents information they can use to help protect their children.
“Parents may remember what it was like when they were in high school. They may remember what drugs were like then but not what it is like now,” Grimes said.
Some parents may think it is safer to have their children drink or even smoke marijuana in their home but drug strengths have grown stronger.
“[Abuse] can come from a permissive attitude [concerning] alcohol and marijuana use, and most certainly phuarmesudicals,” DePompa said.
The Chief has been outspoken concerning the drug issues specifically to Crescenta Valley.  Despite criticism he has stayed the course and has targeted these issues including gang influences that have crept into the area.
“We have attacked the problem aggressively,” he said.
The teen drug arrest over the summer has been down however a few months ago there was increase in burglaries in the North command area.  Those from outside the community often commit burglaries.
“We are now fully realizing the [affect] of the early release of felons from state and county jails.  The vast majority of crimes [like burglary] are [done by] non-residents,” DePompa said. “They are attracted to the Foothills, targeting the rich environment of nice homes and cars, and secluded streets.”
The Chief will talked about these types of trends and what residents can do to help protect their neighborhood, including starting a Neighborhood Watch program.
The police that will be available for questions after the meeting concludes.
“I think the program is good and not too long.  It will give parents the tools that will put them on an even footing with their teen,” Grimes said.
Parents and their teenagers are invited to the meeting on Sept. 15 from 6 p.m to 7:30 p.m. at Verdugo Hills Hospital, council rooms fourth lobby.

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