By Charles COOPER
A new system will place local Glendale residents in a new North Area Command intended to increase community-based policing, interim chief Ron DePompa said recently.
The new police structure is intended to be in place quickly and will reorganize the department’s field services division.
Initially, there will be four command areas – north, south, east and west – with a fifth planned for the downtown area.
Field services Capt. Kirk Palmer said emergency service will still be dispatched citywide under 911, and resources will be assigned where needed. The department will concentrate on breaking down boundaries in operations. “It’s both a structure and philosophy,” he said
Palmer said currently the department is pursuing a unified approach to deal with gang and drug issues among young people in the north area.
Boundaries of the area commands are still being worked out, but the north area will include La Crescenta, Montrose, Sparr Heights and Montecito Park, with the traditional north/south boundary of the 134 Freeway.
The area commander will be Lt. Ian Grimes, with Matt Zakarian assigned as community lead officer. DePompa said the plan is being accelerated to deal with budget issues, but it also represents a commitment to a new policing plan drawing more support in various cities.
Residents will have a single point of contact for police issues, and will be able to access statistics and information through a web site. Police command personnel will continue to be based downtown.