Community Advisory Committees were established by Sheriff Leroy D. Baca in 1993.  The idea for formation of these committees county-wide was born out of the overall study into the events that came to be known as the “Rodney King Riots”.    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors engaged a Superior Court Judge to review the issues that led to the riots and make recommendations to the Board.  Sheriff Baca saw the need to develop community based policing, and one of the components of successful community based policing has been the Community Advisory Committees that are now active throughout the County.

The Community Advisory Committees (CAC), including the Committee active in Altadena, became the two-way communications link between the Sheriff’s Department and the Community.  It is the responsibility of the CAC to not only keep the Sheriff’s Department informed about issues, criminal or quality of life, that affect their neighborhoods, but also the responsibility of the CAC to report complaints to the Sheriff’s Department when the community members have interactions with the Sheriff’s personnel that didn’t meet their needs or expectations.

The CAC is not a support group for the Sheriff’s Department, nor is it a fund-raising arm.  Those functions are carried out by other active groups.  In Altadena, the primary fund-raising group is the Sheriff’s Support Group of Altadena.

CAC’s also have the option to determine what activities or events they think the community would find educational or informative and can organize and conduct events.  In Altadena, from time to time Community Forums are presented.  Some past forums have educated and informed the community about gangs, narcotics, identify theft, elder abuse, the services and resources available to the community for anything that might occur, including the swat teams, gang detectives, narcotics detectives, bomb squad, search and rescue, mounted posse or other specialized resources that are available on a moment’s notice when a need arises.

Future forums are planned, including one in January 2009 that will be focused on parenting issues.  Other forms for 2009 include an all-day community emergency preparedness fair, a repeat of the identify theft and elder abuse forum which was very popular, and in these times of economic uncertainty will provide up to date information on ways we can all better protect ourselves and our identity. 

The formation of new neighborhood watch groups is also a goal of the Altadena CAC.  If you are interested in establishing a Neighborhood Watch group in your neighborhood, or want to know more about the benefits of having Neighborhood Watch, please contact the Community Relations Sergeant at the Altadena Sheriff’s Station at 626 798 1131. 

If you have persistent blight or nuisance issues in your neighborhood, or frail or elderly in your neighborhood whose property is not being as well-kept as it once was and you have concerns about the health and well-being of that neighbor, you can call the Altadena Sheriff’s Station at 626 798 1131 to report your concerns and Deputies or Volunteers on Patrol will make a site visit to check on them.

If you have ideas you’d like to see explored in a Community Forum, please let us know!