Gangs Not Tolerated in Livermore

Life's too good here to have it ruined by thugs.

I feel like I’m living in two different Livermore worlds.

On one hand, we have this lovely town filled with friendly people. As the days get warmer, nothing’s sweeter than hanging out downtown, taking advantage of sidewalk eateries from on one end to on the other. Or having a beer with friends on the patios over at the on Portola.

When I ride my horse with my pals at , or , I’m amazed at how you can go such a short distance from town and find a peaceful place to restore your spirit.

Not long ago, a friend of mine came for a visit from St. Louis and was smitten by the beauty of , and even more impressed with the cuisine at , the midway stopping point of our hike.

Within a few minutes of our homes, we can find ourselves in a world-class restaurant or having a picnic in a local park or winery.

Right around the calendar corner, kicking off the summer, is the World’s Fastest Rodeo, with a week of festivities celebrating our Western roots. It's a reminder that people around here still making a living from raising cattle and working in agriculture.

And when budget cuts took away our beloved fireworks show last year, residents and businesses rallied to . No one shuts down our traditions.

Now you can quibble about the fact that this year’s display will likely be at rather than , but the bottom line is that we have our fireworks back thanks to a community that cared enough to make that happen.

But just when you think the biggest scuffle in town centers on where the fireworks will take place this year, you read about and gang-related . 

A for residents around the Walnut Street area where the most recent incident on Easter afternoon took place. 

At least one attendee expressed frustration at the effort that didn’t — in the commenter’s mind — address the problem beyond turning on lights and watching out for suspicious doorknockers.

Our tireless Patch editor Kris Noceda filed on the meeting, which he attended. Police Chief Steve Sweeney told those at the meeting that Livermore needs more feet on the street.

We all recognize there's a growing problem that needs to be solved — although it's difficult to get our minds around a Livermore where such things could take place.

For years I’ve walked and jogged near the neighborhood where the Easter shoot-up took place and never once worried about being out there after dark or in the early-morning hours. The homes seem filled with families, or older residents who have already done their diaper duties.

It never appeared to be a place where you should don a flak jacket.

But then I never thought that anyone, especially a police officer, would have to worry about .

Everyone needs to be watching their neighborhoods a little closer these days, and by nipping the problems early we can probably keep these incidents to a minimum.  

But it's going to take some organization and some city involvement, which began with Mayor John Marchand taking the lead on the Walnut Street neighborhood watch meeting. Now, citizens need to move forward by going to council meetings to voice their concerns, and discuss steps that can be taken including reinstating .

There's only so much pie in the pan, so if we ask the city to allocate more funds for a dedicated drug and gang team, then something else is going to have to go. But with public safety a No. 1 issue for most folks here, it may be time to tell the council exactly that.

If we can get the fireworks back, we can certainly bring back the task force if that's what it takes to stop the gangs from getting any more of a presence here in Livermore.

Desert Rat May 23, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Ditto on paint needed by the Safeway gas station. How silly for somebody to paint three of the four lines and letters and leave the fourth because "it isn't our responsibility"? How about spending the extra few bucks and just doing it right? I've seen several near misses and was nearly hit myself trying to get into the Lowes lot.
N.P. Flasch June 19, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I wish I had seen this topic earlier. Unfortunately, due to lots of first-hand experience I happen to know a little bit about the graffiti problem. I can offer sound advice on what to do if you see it as well as different ways to try and prevent/protect your home or business. Before getting into that however, allow me start by saying graffiti is a destructive blight on our city that it is terribly frustrating for the citizens of Livermore as well as for city officials. First off, the bad news: If your home or business falls victim to this scourge, you are also responsible for removing it. As bitter of a pill that is to swallow, it is a fact. The City of Livermore will not remove graffiti from privately-owned property. In most cases, quick removal of graffiti helps discourage vandals from hitting your property again. Using lighting, decorative landscaping and keeping a close eye on your property for nefarious activity can go a long way in protecting your property from graffiti. It may cost a bit up front but it will pay off if you live in a graffiti-prone area. Here are some resources for reporting graffiti in the City of Livermore whether on public or private property: By telephone: Graffiti Abatement Hotline: 925-960-8060 Via the City's website: http://www.cityoflivermore.net/citygov/pw/maint/request.asp Once reported, city staff will contact the property owner to begin the removal process. Good luck!
Bay Area Patch Reader June 19, 2012 at 04:18 AM
I had reported several locations in my neighborhood that had graffiti and within a week, it was all removed by the city. Now if only Union Pacific were on top of things. I reported the graffiti on the storage unit on North L Street, over a month ago, and it's still there. In fact, the original graffiti had been crossed out and written over with another gang's graffiti. I will be calling UP every day until it's removed.
Rich Case July 27, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Last week at the Transit Center I was assaulted by a gang taking advantage of the bottle-neck entrance to surround and ambush a lone pedestrian. Although I managed an escape (a decade of track and field to thank for that) it was a close, and menacing call. It is traumatizing enough to be assaulted--in Livermore's downtown area (not far from the police sub-station no less)--but the sad fact is that this is the fourth time I have been assaulted by a gang in Livermore. As a working student I cannot afford a car and I have to walk between transit points daily. I try to avoid compromising areas/hours on my commute yet I cannot seem to avoid Livermore's gangs. I have had my valuables stolen. I have had to flee desperately (and extensively). I have had to, LIMP home jaw, nose, face broken, eye swollen shut, massive concussion, amnesiac, after I was beaten thoroughly and left for dead lights out in a ditch. During a flashback I recalled having done nothing to provoke the group that had ambushed me. I respect and sympathize with the LPD's service yet it is hard to have faith when upon each report I've filed I get a "so what" and "can't do anything". True there was insufficient evidence to pursue and prosecute within reasonable terms of the report, yet the prevalence and severity of this crime pattern calls for FUNDAMENTAL adaptation for prevention. Individual Officers will have to push to realize a solid gang prevention program, and find pride in their work--or fail their title.
Owl July 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Rich, it really bums me out that you've been assaulted like that. Is the Transit Center behind the new theater, near the downtown parking structure? What time where you assaulted? I can understand how a person with your past experiences might want to carry a gun and level a little street justice on these bastards.


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