Category: Public Safety

Mayor Villaraigosa Announces $5 Million in Grants for Earthquake Early Warning System


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined with the US Geological Survey and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Approval Authority members to announce $5 million in federal funds for the region’s Earthquake Early Warning System.

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“Our partners at the US Geological Survey and Caltech have been working on the development of a cutting-edge early warning system.” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “We’re proud to provide this additional funding to improve the system’s capacity and bring it to the level required to make earthquake early warning a reality in Southern California.”

The USGS, in partnership with CalTech, UC Berkeley, and the Southern California Earthquake Center, has been developing an Earthquake Early Warning system for Southern California since 2006.

The objective of earthquake early warning is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. This can be done with sensors placed near active fault zones that detect the first energy waves to radiate from an earthquake.  Those first waves travel at the speed of sound but cause little damage.  The following waves, which bring the strong shaking that causes most of the damage, travel slower.  The greater the distance from the epicenter, the longer the warning time which can range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds.

Those seconds could:

  • allow people to drop, cover, and hold on and grant businesses time to shut down and move workers to safe locations,
  • give medical professionals time to stop delicate procedures,
  • protect travelers by providing time for trains to slow or stop, for elevator doors to open, for bridge traffic to clear, for slowing or stopping traffic, and even stopping landings and take-offs at airports, and
  • enable emergency responders to prepare by opening fire station doors and starting generators.

When the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck Japan in March 2011, 50 million residents received warning in advance.  The country’s earthquake information systems gave people about 200 miles away in Tokyo up to 30 seconds or more to prepare before strong shaking from the epicenter reached them. People closer to the epicenter, which experienced the strongest shaking from this offshore event, received up to 5-10 seconds warning.

For further information, visit

LASD Advisory: Protect Your Bicycle from Thieves


Bicycles are not cheap. That’s why you need to take measures in protecting it from thieves.

Follow these steps and share them with fellow riders.

BEAR-programRecord the serial number, make, model and color of your bike. This information is usually located somewhere on the frame. Put the information in your cell phone or somewhere easily accessible in case it it is stolen.

Register your bike with the LA County Sheriff’s BEAR Program. The Bicycle Education and Registration program is a county program aims to educate citizens on bicycle knowledge, safety, laws and security. They also will register your bicycle with their county bicycle database.

Learn how to lock your bike and keep it locked when not in use.

Use a high quality U-lock.

Never leave your bike unattended. It only takes thieves a few seconds to steal it!

If your bike is stolen report it immediately with your local police department.

For more information about the BEAR program go to

For full details, view this message on the web.

New California Laws Beginning in 2013


We hope all you had a great New Years celebration with your friends and family. Please take a look at some of the new laws that took effect as of Jan 1, 2013 in our great state:

Cars and drivers Insurance: Drivers pulled over by police are permitted to show officers their proof of insurance on an electronic device, such as a smartphone.

Red-light cameras: New statewide guidelines prohibit use of the cameras primarily to raise revenue and make it easier for drivers to challenge tickets issued on evidence from the devices.

Texting: Drivers may dictate, send and listen to text-based communications as long as they use voice-command or other hands-free technology.

Toll lanes: Solo drivers of hybrid vehicles are exempted from toll charges in “high-occupancy toll,” or HOT, lanes on parts of I-15 in San Diego and I-680 in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

Used cars: Buy Here Pay Here lots that offer their own financing must post fair-market values on their autos and provide 1,000-mile, 30-day warranties on vehicles they sell

Education Charter schools: School districts gain greater authority to close charter schools that fail to make sufficient academic progress.

College textbooks: A new website, to be developed in coming months, will give students free digital access to 50 textbooks for lower-division courses in the University of California, California State University and California Community College systems. Hard copies will cost $20.

Fees: California State University may not establish, adjust or reallocate student fees without the approval of student representatives, must justify any increase and may not raise fees after the first 90 days of the school year.

Tests: The Academic Performance Index, which has been based entirely on student test scores, is changed to give test scores no more than 60% of the scale and include other factors such as graduation rates

Employers and workers Religious garb: California employers may not shunt Sikh and Muslim employees to work areas out of public view for wearing clothing or hairstyles, such as turbans, hijabs or beards, because of their religious beliefs.

Retirement: The state will create a panel to study the feasibility of a government-run retirement plan for low-wage private-sector workers.

Workers’ compensation: Payments to employees permanently disabled in job-related accidents will increase by $740 million, and employers will receive a break on premiums

Food and drink Beer: Certain microbrews aged in wooden barrels that previously held spirits will be licensed, regulated and labeled as beer throughout California.

Home-cooked food: Californians may sell certain homemade foods and baked goods, including bread, fruit pies, jams and dried nuts, to stores, to restaurants and directly to consumers.

Healthcare Abortion: A study program that allows non-surgical abortions by a limited number of nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants is extended for two years.

Birth control: Registered nurses are permitted to give hormonal contraceptives to women by order of a certified nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner or physician assistant in some clinical settings.

Hollywood Babies: Parents must have a doctor’s permission before being granted an entertainment work permit for infants 1 month old or younger.

Child actors: Registered sex offenders are barred from representing minors working in the entertainment industry. Criminal background checks are required for managers, publicists, photographers and other adults who have unsupervised access to young performers.

Film taxes: The state’s tax credits for films and television shows made in California are extended for two years, providing up to $200 million in breaks for the industry.

Props: Red tape is reduced for permits to use sawed-off shotguns as props in film and television productions.

The Internet Crime: The Los Angeles County sheriff is required to help state authorities determine whether Internet-related crimes, including identity theft and child molestation, are a significant problem requiring new state laws.

Privacy: University officials and private employers are forbidden to ask students, workers or job applicants for their email passwords or those for social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook.

Telephone service: State agencies are banned from regulating Internet phone service. This extends a current “hands-off” policy by the California Public Utilities Commission

Landlords, tenants and homeowners Foreclosures: A tenant renting a property that is in foreclosure may keep possession of it until the lease expires. Another law guarantees struggling homeowners a reliable point of contact at their lender, imposes civil penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents and bans foreclosures on borrowers who are in loan-modification proceedings.

Pets: Landlords are not permitted to require that tenants declaw their cats or cut vocal cords in their dogs.

Rent: California landlords may not require that rent be paid online

Law enforcement Child abuse: The list of people subject to criminal liability for failing to report suspected child abuse is expanded to include coaches at elementary and secondary schools, college employees who interact with minors, commercial computer technicians and those who process film, video or computer images.

Stadium violence: Sports arenas and stadiums must post contact information for security personnel that is visible from seating and parking areas, so help can be summoned quickly if violence occurs.

Underage killers: Inmates serving life in prison for murders they committed as juveniles may apply after 25 years for a reduction of their prison term.

Parks and Wildlife Animal fighting: Maximum fines double from $5,000 to $10,000 for people convicted of causing bears, bulls and roosters to fight with other animals or with humans.

Conservation: The state Department of Fish and Game must provide greater emphasis on conservation. Its name is changed to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hunting: Dogs may not be used to hunt bears and bobcats.

State parks: The parks department must create a plan for increasing private revenue to operate the sites. Californians may apply a portion of their state tax refund to the parks in exchange for an annual park pass.

Public Transit Bullet train: Members of the governing board of California’s High-Speed Rail Authority must publicly identify any financial interest they have in board decisions and disqualify themselves from acting on those matters.

Veterans Benefits: State benefits rescinded due to a military discharge based solely on sexual orientation are to be restored if the federal government reinstates eligibility.

License plates: Fees for personalized veterans’ license plates are increased to provide more money to the County Veterans Service Officer Fund, which aids veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services.

Sport licenses: The cost of sports-fishing and hunting licenses is reduced for active military personnel recovering from injuries or illnesses.

Welfare Food stamps: Reimbursements will be made to those in a federally funded food stamp program called CalFresh if funds are stolen from their electronic benefit card accounts.
(Source: LATIMES 2013)

If you would like to read the full article, please check it out at:

Robbed? Here’s How To Get Your Stolen Goods Back


Photo by Everett Collection via Shutterstock

If you had your iPhone, iPod, iPad, iMac or even your bicycle stolen, there’s now a way you can get your precious property back, thanks to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Knock-Knock “fence” burglary task force.

Earlier this year, the task force began their mission probing fences, which are described in a release as “an individual who knowingly buys stolen property for later resale, sometimes in a legitimate market.” Following months of extensive surveillance and investigative efforts, multiple search and arrest warrants were served at several suspected fencing locations. Over 11,000 items of evidence were recovered.

And police want to return those 11,000 items to you. Residents of L.A., Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties can view photographs of the items online via the LAPD’s website.

In order to claim property, owners should email [email protected] or leave a message at 818-644-8091, including a brief item description, the item number, the name listed as the victim in your burglary report, the report number, the address where the theft occurred, the date of the crime and a callback number.

Happy retrieving!

Winter Shelter Hotline

LAPD has an important message for the community!

Shelter Locations

PROGRAM BEGINS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011 ( Sylmar Shelter is Delayed until Mid-December) The program will provide 1,491 beds at 19 sites in 15 cities and communities throughout the City and County of Los Angeles.

Selected community non-profit homeless services providers will provide temporary nightly shelter to homeless persons in Los Angeles County.

Those in need of emergency shelter are encouraged to go directly to Read more »

OK/HELP Post-Earthquake Window Sign Program Launched

OK/HELP Post-Earthquake Window Sign Program Launched

On Monday, Oct. 15, Councilmember Mitch Englander and his Council District 12 staff held a press conference to introduce the new OK/HELP post-earthquake window signs, and gave a live demonstration of how this valuable community preparedness tool will be used.

OK/HELP is a window sign with clear, simple instructions provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department, American Red Cross, and the U.S. Geological Survey on what to do immediately after a major earthquake.

After a major earthquake, the user tears off the sign and posts it in their front window indicating to emergency personnel, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) or neighbors if they are “OK” or need “HELP.”

To see a graphic of the OK HELP sign online at
To see more photos of the demonstration, visit

After the press conference, a live demonstration was staged showing how to use the OK/HELP sign. Several houses posted the sign up in their windows. The CERT volunteer team swept the street, checking the status of all of the houses. When they located the house that needed “HELP,” they radioed the location to the Firefighters, who responded
with a Fire Engine and simulated giving aid to the injured resident.

50,000 OK/HELP window signs will be distributed for free to LA residents, first in the San Fernando Valley and eventually city wide. As part of a broader outreach effort to increase community engagement in emergency preparedness, they will available at LAFD Fire Stations, Recreation Centers, libraries, and will be handed out at Neighborhood Council meetings, Neighborhood Watch meetings, and will be mailed out.

Residential Burglary Alert

Distraction Burglaries in Granada Hills


As a reminder please continue to practice safe approaches to anyone coming to your home representing themselves as service workers asking access to your property.

A recent incident of a distraction burglary occurred in Granada Hills where the first suspect posed as a tree trimmer worker and asked for access to the back yard. While the resident was occupied with the first suspect a second one accessed the home and completed the burglary.

The suspects can easily pose as utility workers wearing a variety of uniforms. They can look very official, sometimes posing as City workers, and they can be very deceiving even down to the type of vehicles they drive.

The best way to handle this type of situation is to verify the legitimacy of the service request with the proper entity prior to allowing access to any portion of your property, including the back yard.

If you suspect criminal activity contact the police department at once; 911 for emergencies and 1-877-275-5275 for non-emergency matters.

Coyote Alert!


Living safely with the Wildlife that shares our City.

Coyotes are wild animals and can pose a risk to people and pets. The goal of Los Angeles Animal Services is to educate the public fostering a relationship of mutual respect between wildlife and the community so we can live together safely.

Here are a few guidelines for how to have a safe community for you and for the coyotes:

-Do not approach or feed wild animals, including coyotes. It is unsafe and a violation of the law. Never leave small children and pets unattended outdoors even if your yard is fenced.

-Remove pet food dishes when your pet has finished eating and do not leave food outside. Pick ripe fruit and clean rotten produce off the ground.

-Walk your dog on a leash at all times, not only is it the law, but it will keep your pet safe. Do not allow your dog to interact or “play” with a coyote.

-When you are walking your dog in areas known to have coyotes, you can carry a loud whistle of even an umbrella that you can open and close rapidly to scare them away. Unlike the approach with an aggressive dog, you can raise your arms above your head and stomp your feet while shouting at the coyote to scare them away.

-Put all trash bags inside trashcans and keep all outdoor trashcan lids securely fastened on the containers. Ammonia or pepper sprinkled in the trash may also discourage a scavenging coyote. Keep your property well lit at night especially when you go out with your dog for the last potty break before bed.

-Trim hedges from the bottom and keep brush cleared to limit hiding places for coyotes.

-Close off crawl spaces under porches, decks and sheds. Coyotes use such areas for resting and raising young.

Share this information with your neighbors to keep your neighborhood safe. If you belong to a neighborhood association, call Los Angeles Animal Services to schedule an educational presentation for your next meeting.

If you have coyotes near your home, please call (888) 452-7381for non-lethal assistance.

The Los Angeles Animal Services Department has a Wildlife Expert and several very knowledgeable speakers. You can arrange for them to attend Neighborhood Council or other neighborhood meetings to talk about wildlife and to answer questions about wildlife.

Please click here for more information.