The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey Public Safety Committee is concerned about graffiti in Westchester.

The committee has authorized a letter to be sent to State Senator Ed Vincent, who represents a portion of Westchester, seeking his help in fighting graffiti.

The Neighborhood Council, which meets Tuesday, July 7th, will need to approve the letter before the letter is sent to Vincent.

“Establishment of both a short-term fix and a long-term resolution of the proliferation of the graffiti along the 405 freeway (San Diego Freeway) between the 90 (Marina Freeway) and 105 (Century) freeways is an important action,” the letter says.

The letter urges Vincent to work with a task force comprised of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officials, local politicians and community representatives to prevent and remove graffiti in the Westchester area.

Denny Schneider, a member of the task force and the Public Safety Committee, said the graffiti problem has multiplied since Caltrans construction begun along the San Diego Freeway created easier paths for “graffiti artists” to access the sound walls on both sides of the freeway.

Schneider said Caltrans could remove offensive graffiti within 24 hours and other types of graffiti within a week.

The Public Safety Committee is hoping for a long-term solution to preventing and removing graffiti because the Caltrans construction project is expected to be completed in 2006.

Westchester community members will then have to report graffiti to the City of Los Angeles, Schneider said.

In other business, the Public Safety Committee, which held its first meeting of the year Tuesday, June 29th, is trying to get the Westchester and Playa del Rey areas to be included in a City of Los Angeles Fire Department brush clearance program.

Jeff Elder, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said debris, grass and brush buildup along the hillsides from Sepulveda Boulevard to the ocean are fire hazards.

Elder said the fire department will decide whether the hazards are serious enough to include the Westchester and Playa del Rey areas in the clearance program.

Elder will draft a letter to the fire department for Neighborhood Council approval Tuesday, July 7th.

The Public Safety Committee is also trying to host a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training course.

Taught by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department, the free disaster preparedness course is designed to help communities establish a trained civilian emergency volunteer force.

Graduates of the course, which consists of seven 150-minute classes, receive a fire department certificate.

The Public Safety Committee hopes the community will get involved in CERT training because Los Angeles International Airport is the nearest terrorist target, committee members said.

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