Chief David Bejarano
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On June 8, Justice/Overcoming Boundaries, a community-organizing group, hosted a neighborhood forum at St. Mark’s Church in Chula Vista. About 100 residents turned out to discuss neighborhood empowerment and participate in three breakout groups: transportation, immigration, and safe communities.

The concerns of the safe communities breakout centered around Diamond Jim’s bar on Third Avenue and Wild Wooly’s Saloon on Broadway, both on the west side of Chula Vista. Residents who live in the vicinity of these bars complain that their homes and streets are unsafe. Residents stated that patrons of the bars had fired guns, urinated, or left broken bottles or condoms in their yards. They also complained that many patrons drive under the influence.

Wendy, who lives on Ash Avenue, recounted a gang initiation that recently took place in front of her house. She described the violence as terrible to witness.

Pandra, who lives on Church Avenue, held up a bag of spent bullet casings collected from her front yard and said, “I can’t believe that the mayor and city council are up in arms about a strip club when these violent gang-related activities are going on.”

Pandra said her neighborhood used to be one where people walked their dogs in the evening and children rode their bicycles, “but now people hide in their houses as soon as night falls.” Pandra says she pays San Diego Gas & Electric for her own streetlight.

Three representatives of the city were on hand for the neighborhood-safety portion of the meeting: chief of police David Bejarano, Cpt. Gary Wedge, and Emily Novack from code enforcement.

Before turning the microphone over to Bejarano, the group extracted several promises from him. Bejarano said he will notify the bar owners that they are responsible for the action of their clientele, will work to make the codes clear and enforceable, will maintain more patrol presence on the street after nightfall, and will meet with the concerned residents often.

Bejarano told the assemblage that the department has had more enforcement on the streets surrounding the bars between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. He also advised them to contact Roxanne Kennedy, who works directly with the community.

Bejarano asserted he believes in community engagement. Captain Wedge said, “We can’t be there all the time” and safety was “a joint effort.”

The Chula Vista City Council’s Public Safety subcommittee began to look into the issue late last year but the committee was dissolved, for at least a year, by the council.

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Comments

anniej June 13, 2013 @ 5:58 p.m.

Our community is no longer the sleepy little bedroom community that it once was. These days we are faced with some elements who care nothing about community, safety, or keeping the peace. Instead, they gather, indulging in their bullying behavior with no thought to the innocent young child that might be observing or the hard working tax payer who takes pride in their home.

We are fortunate that we are protected by such a fine police department, who day in and day out patrol our streets in an effort to keep the peace.

I am wondering if it is time to bring back the NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH ALERTS or perhaps entertain the thought of increasing a senior citizen patrol.

3

anniej June 17, 2013 @ 11:03 p.m.

Lived in both Chula Vista and San Diego - total of approximately 50 years. I am aware of Mr. Bejaranos service to the city of San Diego.

I see things a bit differently, I prefer to view all of San Diego's city and county residents as my neighbors. Things have changed substantially in 50 years.

1

FatCatSegat June 14, 2013 @ 9:30 a.m.

Does anyone remember the seventies when Chula Vista was pockmarked by peep shows and other pornography businesses? City ordinances helped then. Now it's a totally different animal. The main problem at night that I've observed is Broadway. From H street to past E street all kind of activity can be observed. The card room is always full and the illegal peripheral activities that accompany this business add to the problem. Another quite visible problem is the prostitution that has infiltrated Broadway. CVPD is always making their rounds trying to keep it under control, but how do you control man's animalistic urges? The many hotels along the avenue are teeming with this activity. If it isn't prostitution, then it's the drugs. Pick any of the motels along Broadway and spend the night if you dare. I've witnessed all sorts of activityand let me tell you, this is where CVPD needs to concentrate their efforts. Tackle the strip club later. I got 'yer loophole.

2

anniej June 17, 2013 @ 11:06 p.m.

FatCatSegat - let us not forget the increased gang violence and the increased drug problem.

2

VigilantinCV June 14, 2013 @ 12:50 p.m.

Mayor Cox is the one who killed the Council Sub-Committee on Public Safety. This Sub-Committee (two Council members) was very active in the past. But Mayor Cox does not want anything to exist that she cannot control. Attend or view a Council meeting if you have any doubt about her compulsion to control.

3

eastlaker June 14, 2013 @ 1:28 p.m.

It is a step in the right direction to hold a public meeting of this sort.

When incidents occur that are unsafe, threatening and look like they will lead to further violence and are against the public's good, AND the public speaks out, there is a good chance something can be done.

All of us need to stand up and speak out when we see wrongdoing, corruption and threats against our community.

2

cvres June 14, 2013 @ 5:39 p.m.

FatcatSegat, I agree with your comments -- the west side seems to be in a downward slide. Maybe bayfront development will help.

2

anniej June 14, 2013 @ 7:18 p.m.

cvres - the residents on the west side (my neighborhood) can not expect big brother to take care of all of our problems. we must do our part to patrol and police our own neighborhoods. we must set the precedents for establishing what we can and can not tolerate. at some point in time we must return to pride of home and neighborhoods, not to insinuate it is totally gone. setting the standards for youth via such things as establishing curfews for our children that coincide with the law.

get involved, hold people accountable, but most importantly

LEAD BY EXAMPLE!

2

eastlaker June 19, 2013 @ 8:39 a.m.

Now that John McCann has pulled another stunt (calling the police over his premature campaign sign which was used as a prop at the Monday night school board meeting), taking several patrol cars away from what they were doing at that time, I wonder what Chief Bejarano really thinks.

Talk about your dichotomy: people with real problems in their neighborhood, coming together to try and make things better--and then John McCann, "poster boy" for wasted time and effort over what essentially was an illustration of his own bad judgment, thereby exacerbating and underlining his bad judgment.

We shouldn't call anyone foolish, but some people call it upon themselves.

2

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