Security guard patrols begin April 24
While crime in Lakewood remains relatively low compared to most nearby communities, there has been an increase in the theft of autos and auto parts, including catalytic converters.
This is a nationwide problem at present, but Lakewood City Council Members have said they want to do all they can at the local level to protect residents’ property and enhance the feeling of safety in Lakewood.
Plan for extra neighborhood protection approved by Council
On March 22, the City Council passed a series of enhancements to public safety programs in Lakewood, which includes paying for more nighttime patrols by L.A. County Deputy Sheriffs, with a focus on combating auto thefts.
However, because of countywide staffing shortages for Deputy Sheriffs, the Sheriff’s Department is very limited in the extra staffing it can provide.
“Lakewood has succeeded in getting one extra two-deputy patrol car to focus on reducing auto thefts and other crimes,” said Lakewood Public Safety Director Joshua Yordt. “And the city also succeeded in getting an extra deputy patrol car several nights a week to combat street racing and unsafe driving, such as cars doing ‘donuts’ during intersection takeovers.”
To enhance this extra protection on a consistent basis, the City Council has also approved the hiring of a security guard company to patrol Lakewood neighborhoods every night, working in close collaboration with the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station.
Security guard patrol details
The city will pay for four security guard patrols every night from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. This will nearly double the number of patrol cars normally on Lakewood streets overnight.
“Lakewood considered the applications of nine security guard companies,” said Yordt, “and selected Southwest Patrol, which is headquartered in nearby Brea. Southwest has been used successfully by other California cities and public agencies.”
Southwest Patrol will start their patrols in Lakewood on Sunday, April 24. Their patrols will drive down every residential street and block in the city multiple times each night. Their patrol vehicles will have amber emergency lights on the roof and be clearly marked, with a Lakewood city logo that says “Proudly Serving the City of Lakewood.”
“Southwest security guards will not carry out advanced law enforcement actions,” said Yordt, “but will observe and report to Lakewood Deputy Sheriffs for fast response. They will also provide a highly visible nighttime presence driving through Lakewood neighborhoods.”
“Southwest Patrol is being hired on a three-month contract, and their effectiveness will be evaluated over that time period before a decision is made by the City Council on continuing their services,” said Yordt.
Rebates part of Neighborhood Safety Enhancement Plan
To see other elements of Lakewood’s new Neighborhood Safety Enhancement Plan, including new city rebates that residents can use to purchase and install home security cameras and anti-theft catalytic converter protection devices, visit the Public Safety page.
"The rebates are part of the city's effort to also provide residents with tools they can use at their own homes to proactively enhance the protection of their vehicles and property," said Yordt. "It's part of the city's ongoing mission to be partners with our community in keeping Lakewood safe."