LAPD Captain Evangelyn Nathan at WVRC
President-Elect ED JACKSON led the Pledge. DR RALPH BEASOM then spoke about Norman Cousins, who had written a book entitled Anatomy of an Illness, in which he postulated that the brain could help in curing some illnesses. His example was what laughter could do, and this was hard for the scientific community to accept, since it seemed to say you could laugh your illness away. This led to a second book, The Biology of Hope, in which he described some things that had happened since. He became involved with UCLA in their School of Medicine, and speaking personally, I should report that my wife, Clare, and I had an appointment with Cousins during her illness it was reassuring. While raising money for this type of research was difficult, he was able to prove that the brain could actually produce chemicals that could affect some illnesses. One of the problems was that such results were not predicable nor was the treatment patentable. This did lead to a new science called Psycho Neuro Immuniology, and it occurred during meditation and prayer. “Our heavenly Father, we pray for a joyful spirit so that we may enthusiastically encourage those who have chosen to help. Bless this food and may it strengthen your purpose. Amen.” RALPH, there are some really thought- provoking ideas. Thank You. RICK BROUS came forward to assist us in learning the song we will also give during the upcoming District Governor’s visit The Four Way Test.
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but we did have guests. Sarah Jessup, the Director of Ocean Park Community Center, was present to help PP STEVE SCHERER and JOHN HEIDT in their efforts later today to feed one of the homeless units of OPCC. MARK BLOCK introduced Athena Jackson, a former member who is considering coming back aboard. Brian Whitney, who is with UBC, was a Special Guest of PP STEVE SCHERER this was his second visit with us. PEGGY BLOOMFIELD was accompanied by her helper. STEVE PETTISE reminded us that there will be a program at University High on Sunday the 26th, called Public School Showcase, from 1 to 4pm. Eric Davidson, Principal at UniHi, was present today to tell us a bit about it, and everyone is encouraged to attend, particularly the five Avenue of Service Chairs. To cap this portion, PP SEAN MCMILLAN and JOHN HEIDT were lured forward, only to learn that their absence at Sept. Birthdays would cost them each a ten buck late fee.
We then entered upon a phase which I suppose could be called Joke Telling Time. Why is it that the Evening News comes on saying Good Evening, and then proceeds to tell you why it isn’t? Hospitality is making your guests feel like they are at home even if you wish they were. Some cause happiness wherever they go others whenever they go. Yes, I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure. YOE isn’t sure if this phase should be encouraged or not. Should we vote? Remember, if you laugh, he’ll be encouraged…
I received a full report on the OPCC Dinner, which was first shopped for by JOHN HEIDT, SUSAN KLEIN, and RICK and MARSHA BROUS. Those who cooked and served the meal were PP JIM COLLINS, TERRY de SOUSA, MADISON GORITSAN, ED JACKSON, JOHN WOODALL, PP STEVE SCHERER and JOHN HEIDT. The menu included teriyaki chicken, rice, broccoli, cheese bread, a salad with tomatoes, cheese and onions, and ending with NY cheesecake topped by strawberries. This took place at Samoshel Shelter, which is one of ten locations that OPCC operates, all in Santa Monica. We can all look forward to three more such outings, in the months to follow and to all who helped, Thank You for a job well done.
PDG ANDY ANDERSON was pleased to introduce Captain Evangelyn Nathan, who is the Commanding Officer of the WLA Division of the LAPD. Capt. Nathan joined the LAPD on June 29th, 1981 and ANDY retired a year before that! She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the West Point Leadership Institute, Supervisors Leadership Institute, and Command Development School. YOE is pleased to point out, it certainly shows! Capt Nathan has worked a variety of patrols, investigative and specialized assignments. In 2003 she was promoted to Lieutenant II, and was the 77th Division CO. She is actively involved in the Big Brother/Big Sister Board of Directors, Officer Joe Bryant Foundation, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the FBI National Academy Association, plus the LAPD Athletic Hall of Fame. She has received the first Staples Star for Community Involvement. She has many community awards and get this is a Master Gardner Graduate from Cal State LA!
Perhaps this is the best place to announce that PDG ANDY ANDERSON joined the LAPD on you guessed it September 16th, 1952!!! He considers this a lot more important than mere birthdays and who can say him nay? After all, that’s only 58 years ago. Congratulations, ANDY!
But back to Capt. Nathan. She has tried mightily to be here before today, but events keep getting in the way (and first you take care of business, as I’ve heard someone say). She feels that these marches and demonstrations that have delayed her are all the fault of ANDY (who she calls Marshall, by the way). Her partner is Captain Ruben De La Torre, who is in charge of the WLA Patrol Section. There are twenty Divisions in the LAPD, and each has a Commanding Officer and Commanding Officer, Patrol. She came to WLA in February 2009, one day after Captain De La Torre. First, she wants us to know that WLA is #2 in crime reduction out of the twenty Divisions! Wilshire is # 1, and she is .6 behind. She has 240 Officers and 22 civilians under her command. Her area comprises 64.5 square miles, out of a total of 468 square miles. Her neighbors, with whom she has excellent relationships, are Beverly Hills, Wilshire, Santa Monica and Paciific, plus the Sherriff’s Dept. Every day she gets reports from her watch commanders, Detective Commanding Officer. WLA Narcotics, WLA Gangs and WLA Vice. These reports detail the type of crime, who are the perpetuators, and the input is enormous. Her Blackberry goes all the time.
They share information with all their neighbors, all the time. In an area as large as ours, this is vital. At present in WLA, there is 90% property crime, and 10% violent crime. In Div 77, for example, the ratio is 80% violent crime, and 20% property crime. When questioned why WLA is so much better, her obvious answer is, when you want a job done right, send a woman! Some laughter here. Each Division is different, of course, but in WLA theft from autos is a major problem. Almost without exception, what is taken are things left on the seat, so they can be seen by the thief. So she emphasizes ‘hardening the target’ that is, don’t’ leave things where they can be seen. Park in lighted areas. Grand theft auto is down, but it still occurs. Even older cars probably have a good battery, good tires, etc.
As the holidays approach, there are more ‘workmen’ that is, passing themselves off as telephone, gas company, or other service workers. There are often two of them, and while you are with one, the other is ransacking your valuables. So, don’t let anybody in, unless you have scheduled a service appointment beforehand. Another factor in residential crime is remembering to leave a light on, locking your doors, closing and locking windows - The Valley Division has their own slogan lock it, hide it, and keep it. And don’t fail to lock just because you’ll be away a very short time why take chances?
WLA Resources include the usual black and whites, plus officers dressed in blue. Add to that the Gang Enforcement Detail. WLA does not have a gang problem, but the area of concern is Robertson and La Cienega, the Ten freeway to the B.H.border . There are eight gangs in this area some with as few as six members. They are taggers, but still counted as gangs. There are over 400 locations that are monitored. There is also a bicycle unit. There is a uniformed plus an undercover unit.
Volunteers are used in various ways. These are Reserve Officers. They are used for traffic enforcement. Some have been trained to use a radar gun, which is a very useful tool. The record from these guns can be viewed back at the station, and then a letter can be sent out, saying you were seen doing whatever this is very effective. Capt Nathan gave an example of a young man who had a new car, which he drove up and down the road to Mountaingate at high speed. After two letters, they sent officers to visit the address, and when the door was answered, they realized the driver was a young man. They asked his father to have the son call them and the problem went away, of course.
There is a program called IWatch, which encourages people to report suspicious events or situations. She gave an example of a young man, who had some kind of street business, and who called them about something he suspected wasn’t right. Turned out to be a drop for various harmful items, but they wouldn’t have been found without the original tip. In addition to 911, there is a 311 service which can be used to report suspicious activity.
There is also a program called PACT, Police and Community Together. This was formed 30 years ago, and they seek donations to provide the Police with funds for things they need that are not budgeted. She gave an example the outside of the WLA Police bldg was a mess when she arrived. And, in addition to being the new Commanding Officer, she was, after all, a Master Gardner! So they gathered a group of 15 officers and 15 volunteers, and really did a number on the vegetation, particularly the trees, surrounding the WLA station... PACT purchased the plants they used. There is a ‘cot room’ at the station and they badly needed new mattresses which PACT provided There is now a ‘situation room’ which is used to coordinate responses to 1st amendment events, of which there have been over 100 so far this year alone. Another area that may require special attention is the Federal Bldg on Wilshire.
There are several Youth Programs. One is called the Cadet Program. You must be 14 and in the 9th grade, or 15 thru 20, there is a background investigation, you need a C average all the way through high school, and you attend and graduate from the 16-week Cadet Academy. The Cadets undergo continued training, as a Mall Detail, or other program. This mentoring program pays off. There is a Jeopardy Program for youngsters who already have a record. And one of their continuing programs is sometimes, simply finding a witness. The Police may know who did something, but they have to have someone to testify and often, people are simply afraid to come forward because they fear reprisal.
Captain Nathan told of a homicide where they needed a witness. The only witness was an 8-year old boy. He was willing to testify, but was considered too young. They searched for others, and this went on for some time note that with a homicide there is no statute of limitations. They never solved the problem, and the 8-year old grew up and ended up in prison he needed mentoring, and there was no one available. This illustrates why they need programs for children. A Youth Center would be most helpful. This could provide tutoring for the kids, a place where the parents could come to find out what their kids are really doing.
There wasn’t time for a Q&A but Captain Nathan, you are most welcome to come back anytime your message was excellent. We thank you.