A Letter to the Community: “The Altadena Sheriff Station is the fabric of who we are…”

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May 6, 2020

Dear Concerned Altadena Community,

Please know that you are not alone in your shock, displeasure, and concern about the proposed closure of our Altadena Sheriff’s Station. The news seems to have come as a complete surprise to everyone…from the county supervisor’s office down to our local leaders.

We are genuinely concerned about the many possible negative ramifications the closure of our station could have on our community. Altadena Sheriff’s Station is not just a law enforcement agency, it is a part of the very fabric of what makes us who we are.

This station not only represents public safety in our close-knit community, it also represents the drastic change in enhanced community policing because of the hard work between citizens and law enforcement. Beyond an officer’s typical public safety duties, we have seen involvement in toy drives, Coffee with the Captain, school and business events, library events, Town Council meetings, Citizen of the Year awards, National Night Out, Concerts in the Park, elderly welfare checks, car shows, station open houses, Christmas Tree Lane, and many more.

Rarely does something happen around town without their involvement or presence. I have even seen them supply Santa Claus to a family in crisis and a station captain join the local quilting group. Yes, the sheriff’s job is to keep us safe, but our local station and personnel are so much more an integral part of our community. We are confident that our community wants the station to remain open and we want to take significant actions to ensure that it remains so.

We also know that Supervisor Barger is disappointed by this action and she and the other supervisors have suggested more cost-efficient cutbacks with less impact on the community and prefers that our station remain open.

While on one hand, we feel the community should unify and develop a cohesive strategy and work together, we also realize it can be impactful if individual citizens, community groups, and community stakeholders also share their own concerns with the sheriff directly. The important thing is that we have a community voice and we make sure it is heard.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions and to working together to mobilize an effective response to this disrespectful action towards our Sheriff’s station and community.

We hope that all the Altadena organizations reach out to us and each other and join the conversation.

In the meantime, if you are a citizen and do not know who or what to write we have included a sample letter to Sheriff Villanueva below. Feel free to copy/paste and add your personal touch, what this means to you, if you so wish.

Billy Malone, Chair, Altadena Town Council

Billy.malone@altadenatowncouncil.org Cell 626 893 0787

And

Doug Colliflower, President, Altadena Chamber of Commerce

doug.colliflower@gmail.com call/text 626.524.4158

DOWNLOAD LETTER HERE

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Send your comments to Sheriff Villanueva at:

Avillan@lasd.org sibmedia24hrs@lasd.org 213-229-1850 and 213-229-1700

Or there is an online comment form: lasd.org/contact-us/

Dear Sheriff Villanueva,

As a proud resident of the unincorporated area of Altadena, I am extremely concerned and saddened to learn of the closing of our community Sheriff’s station. This station not only represents public safety in our close-knit community, but it also represents the drastic change in enhanced community policing because of the hard work between citizens and law enforcement.

Understandably so, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many lives in many ways and will continue to do so for quite some time. However, this is not the time to make drastic decisions without community input that directly affects public safety.

(I/we) implore you to work with the Chief Executive Officer to find alternative ways to mitigate the Department’s budget deficit instead of directly hindering the communities you say you are here to protect and serve.

Thank you for taking the time to note my concerns, and I look forward to hearing an update soon.

Sincerely

(Name)

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE LETTER TO THE SHERIFF

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