Van Nuys is more than a neighborhood. Growing up in the Valley, I remember what the Boulevard looked like before and how proud local residents were to have been raised in Van Nuys and raise their own children here.
Today, while some things have changed, the dedication of our residents to their community has not wavered. We are home to some of the most active Neighborhood Watches and community groups in the City. Unfortunately, crime numbers have increased across Los Angeles and Van Nuys is no exception. While our crime statistics remain lower than the average Citywide, here in Van Nuys, residents are waking up to see more headlines about crime locally. But public safety is about more than statistics and headlines; it is about feeling safe and secure in your home and neighborhood.
We have a right to feel safe walking their kids to school in the morning and parking our cars at night. I’ve been proud of the work that we have accomplished in the Sixth District by working hand in hand with LAPD, the City Attorney and community leaders. Not only have we shut down two thirds of the illegal medical marijuana dispensaries in our part of Van Nuys but with the addition of a Prostitution Enforcement Detail car, we have made 144 prostitution related arrests this year alone.
But there is still more to do. We need to make sure that this part of the Valley gets the resources that it needs. That's why Monday night, over 100 Van Nuys community members joined me to meet the newest members of police leadership in the Valley as well as engage in an open dialogue with the department. Chief Charlie Beck joined the newest members of the Valley team including the new Valley Bureau Deputy Chief Bob Green and our new Van Nuys Division Captain Lillian Carranza. It was also the first time in nearly two years that Chief Beck had visited the Sixth District for a public meeting.
The dialogue was respectful as LAPD and I answered questions from the community and the residents learned more about our new local leadership. Chief Charlie Beck also discussed crime throughout the City and heard firsthand about the quality of life in Van Nuys. I was proud of our City and our residents as we developed the lines of communication to build better solutions for our neighborhoods.
Few Council Districts in Los Angeles have so many dedicated individuals that are willing to take time to speak directly with City leaders. This meeting would not have been possible without the participation and passion of our community. We will continue to work together to make a better tomorrow in Van Nuys and throughout the Sixth.