Efforts Presented to Combat Methamphetamine Use in Sunland-Tujunga

Drug-fueled crimes and fear-inducing encounters with methamphetamine users in the Sunland-Tujunga community will be the focus of the next Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Watch meeting, taking place on Tuesday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at North Valley City Hall, 7747 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga. This meeting brings together residents who have experienced run-ins with those on drugs and families who need resources to deal with their meth-afflicted family members and Los Angeles Police Dept. senior lead officers and their SMART and PET teams. These officers and teams provide services to those with mental health issues and drug addictions in Los Angeles and LA County.

Whether or not a resident has reported a crime, this information can be valuable as it will provide direction on what to say and what not to say to “amped-up” individuals whom they may encounter on their street or property.

“Knowing what to do to protect one’s property and to ensure one’s peace of mind is the utmost concern of our community,” said Jon von Gunten, Neighborhood Watch representative to the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council. “Of course, it’s always best to document individuals who may be committing a crime, but if that puts you in harm’s way, then it’s best to protect your safety first.”

This meeting was organized along with Region 1 (Sunland) representative Pat Kramer, who has received numerous calls from stakeholders in north Sunland, as well as in other parts of the Sunland-Tujunga community, regarding this growing issue.

“Residents are angry and they have a right to be,” said Kramer. “In some cases, their property has been damaged or stolen or they have personally been threatened by individuals who we suspect were trying to generate money for their drug habit. We can’t turn our backs on this issue any longer. There has to be a course of action that makes people feel safe. And if it isn’t being addressed by the LAPD, then it needs to be by some other agency.”

The Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council holds regular board meetings on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at North Valley City Hall. Additionally, the Neighborhood Watch, which is a division of STNC, holds three monthly meetings to address crime issues:

The Tujunga-specific Neighborhood Watch meeting takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at McDonald’s restaurant, 6510 Foothill Blvd., in the children’s playroom, at 8:30 a.m. with Senior Lead Officer Gloria Caloca.

The Sunland-specific Neighborhood Watch meeting takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices training room, 8307 Foothill Blvd., in Sunland at 8:30 a.m. with Senior Lead Officer Cesar Contreras.

The combined Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Watch meeting takes place on the third Tuesday of every month at North Valley City Hall, 7747 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga at 6 p.m. Parking is in the rear parking lot on Wyngate.

For more information on what the STNC can assist residents with, contact Jon Von Gunten, STNC Neighborhood Watch Rep, at jonvgstnc@hotmail.com, Pat Kramer, STNC Region 1 Rep at patkramerstnc@gmail.com or Ana Orudyan, Region 1 Rep, at anaorudyanstnc@gmail.com.

Call 911 to report a crime, for any emergency or if a crime is in progress.