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Councilmember Lauds Police for Arrest, Hopeful Patrols Will Tamp Down Recent Violence

Published on Friday, January 21, 2022 | 6:21 am

Pasadena District 5 Councilmember Jessica Rivas seen at Villa Parke in an archival screenshot from her first community meeting on Feb. 18, 2021 following a series of shootings early last year. [Pasadena Media]
Police said this week’s shooting of a teenager was likely gang-related, the City’s Chief Information Officer described plans for increasing video cameras at Villa Parke and elsewhere, and District 5 Councilmember Jessica Rivas lauded a police arrest in the shooting case and said she was hopeful extra patrols would tamp down an uptick in recent violence during a virtual meeting she hosted Thursday night.

In the meeting, Pasadena Police Lt. Marcia Taglioretti spoke to the community about the ongoing efforts of the city to curb gun violence amid recent shooting incidents.

Last Sunday a man was shot after a confrontation and robbery near Villa Parke and on Tuesday a 15-year-old boy riding as a passenger in a car near Eldora Road and North Los Robles Ave. was shot in the head. A suspect has been arrested in the boy’s shooting.

According to Taglioretti, the motives of the shooters in the recent incidents remain unknown. She said both shootings could be gang-related.

“That is what our detectives are looking at. There appears to be a connection and again, it’s probably gang-related,” Taglioretti said. She refused to provide information on specific gangs possibly involved in the shooting incidents.

“This is a really unfortunate situation,” Rivas said. “We had a full year without that and now it’s starting up again but I’m grateful we already made an arrest.”

Asked why Villa Parke and its surrounding areas have been hotspots for the recent crimes, Taglioretti said this was because a specific gang congregates in the area.

“One of our gangs in Pasadena, Villa Parke, is known for the area where they congregate,” she said.

Meanwhile, during the meeting city chief information officer Phillip Leclair encouraged future discussions within the community about the installation of additional video cameras to deter crime and help capture perpetrators.

“Villa Parke is actually the first city park to have cameras installed in the park itself and this was really to help improve safety and security concerns.”

“5-10 years ago no one was even thinking about putting cameras in the park. People really wanted a lot more privacy in the park. They didn’t want this kind of technology there but because of these circumstances, things are changing in the world.”

“I think that it is a successful deterrent. I think that future conversations could be had about how this program could be expanded in other areas like streets,” Leclair said.

He said there has been an interest in the neighborhood for homeowners to potentially use their own home security camera and share footage to police to help with investigations.

Rivas pointed out that Councilmember Tyron Hampton brought forward a proposal with the same intent and it will come before the City Council soon.

Rivas, for her part, personally advised the community members to install cameras and lights in their houses for their safety.

“At this point, my initial thoughts are, as a private citizen, as your neighbor, by all means, have cameras, have lights.”

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