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Anaheim resumes plans to curb drugs, prostitution on Beach Boulevard

City plans to form subcommittees with help of police, residents and business owners to tackle issues.





ANAHEIM – Residents and business owners concerned about crime and prostitution along a troubled one-mile stretch of Beach Boulevard will gather again with police Monday to begin looking for answers to curb those problems.

The group met for the first time July 23, when about 60 residents and business owners came to discuss how prostitutes and drug dealers seem to be overwhelming the area of Beach between Ball Road and Lincoln Avenue – a stretch of mostly low-rent weekly motels and apartments.

In the first six months of the year, police said they got 220 calls for service in the area – resulting in 180 arrests.

At the first meeting, police took a list of questions. This time around, they hope to begin finding answers – with the help of residents and business owners.

"I wish I could say this was a six-month process or put a timetable on it, but the truth is that these problems didn't happen overnight – and they won't be solved that fast either," said police Lt. Eric Trapp, who oversees the west division of the city.

Police officers broke down the questions asked last meeting into subcategories.

This time around, organizers will form subcommittees that include residents, business owners, police officers and city leaders from code enforcement and other departments to begin tackling specific issues.

Neighbors in that area say the problems seem to be escalating.

Rumors have been circulating in recent weeks about a medical marijuana dispensary opening near an alternative-education school near Beach and Ball. The shop that opened about 20 yards away from the school is actually a smoke shop that sells tobacco and hookah pipes.

"Still, do we really want a smoke shop next to teenage kids in school?" asked Amanda Jeffries, an area resident. "I know change might be slow in this area, but it needs to happen. It's been a slow decline and this is our community, our home. We don't want to be a joke."

Anaheim hopes to share the lessons it learns with Buena Park and Stanton, which also have experienced crime problems along Beach Boulevard.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Brookhurst Community Center, 2271 W. Crescent Ave.




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