BY LUCY GUANUNA
CYPRESS PARK — The Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners has approved $175,000 in funding for the purchase and installation of surveillance cameras in Rio de Los Angeles State Park following numerous incidences of vandalism and theft of park property.
Surveillance cameras will be installed throughout the 39.9 acres of the 247-acre of park that are managed by the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department. The facilities include baseball and soccer fields, ball and tennis courts, a children’s play area and a recreation building and community room.
The $175,000 in funding will cover the purchase of an undetermined number of cameras and lighting upgrades at the park, which was built on former railroad property along San Fernando Road. The cameras are expected to be installed by the end of the year and will be monitored by Recreation and Parks.
There have been several cases of major vandalism across the park. There has been $50,000 in material theft alone, said Rose Watson, a spokesperson for Recreation and Parks.
Local police said they are called to the park for disturbances from the homeless population that reside in the riverbed and fights that breakout during sports matches. But relatively few park patrons at Rio de Los Angeles have been the victims of crime.
“People lose sight of their cars at Griffith Park because of the hills, that’s why there’s so much property theft there, but at Rio de Los Angeles [State Park], it’s flat so people are able to keep an eye on their cars,” said Sgt. Joe Mireles with the LAPD’s Northeast Division.
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Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.
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