“Park watch” meeting planned in Pasadena

PASADENA — Community members are invited to meet with Pasadena police officers and park safety specialists Saturday to talk about issues affecting city parks and enjoy some barbecue.
Pasadena police Commander Darryl Qualls and Lieutenant Chris Russ will man the grill while park safety specialists meet with community members from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at La Pintoresca Park, 45 E. Washington Blvd., park safety specialist Maria Huerta said.
The goal of the “park watch” meeting is to familiarize residents with the park safety specialists and encourage them to take pride in city parks.
“It’s like a neighborhood watch; it’s got that concept,” Huerta said.
By encouraging residents to take ownership of the parks and report suspicious activity, officials said they hope to preserve them as a valuable resource for the community.
“We want people to come to the park and be able to let their children run around,” Huerta said.
Whether the issue is someone drinking in a park or loitering gang members, “We want to make sure that the neighbors in the park feel comfortable enough to come up to us and talk to us about problems they’re having in the park.”
In addition to food, raffles and a demonstration of a police “spike-strip” are planned, officials said.
The Pasadena Police Department has five civilian park safety specialists responsible for patrolling the city’s 25 parks, Huerta said.
The department strives to hold about one “park watch” meeting per month at a different park within the city.

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