City Council President-elect Marqueece Harris-Dawson, left, welcomes LAPD Interim Chief Dominic Choi. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Summer fun has now begun at the Algin Sutton Recreation Center which kicked off its seasonal programming with a block party on June 8 in South Los Angeles in partnership with LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership Bureau, and LA City’s Recreation and Parks Department.

The family-friendly event officially opened the pool for public access and treated community park goers to complimentary hot dogs from Earle’s On Crenshaw, free swag bags for the first 100 attendees, football and soccer clinics, a resource fair, and interactive games for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Council President-elect Marqueece Harris-Dawson formally introduced the newest Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to highlight the beginning of a five-year action plan between LAPDs Community Safety Bureau, Department of Recreation and Park, and Advocates for Peace and Urban Unity (APUU).

Initially launched as a pilot program to address a public safety crisis at a neighborhood recreation center, CSP has evolved into a permanent fixture for the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles.

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“We recognize, based on data, that the way we were handling public safety in this neighborhood wasn’t working so we worked with the police department, gang interventionists, park and neighborhood councils to see what we can do better, explained Harris-Dawson. “The Community Safety Partnership is a model for that. It is everybody taking responsibility for safety, working together on it, as opposed to separate factions and silos.”

LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership displays nostalgia to create a friendly atmosphere. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Harris-Dawson welcomed LAPD Interim Chief Dominic Choi and Deputy Chief of Operations South Bureau Emada Tingirides to promote the mission of the Community Safety Partnership Bureau which aims to improve the relationships between residents and law enforcement while prioritizing crime prevention by offering safe routes to local schools and providing more interactive programming at the park.

“We feel this is the future of policing and the answer to public safety. The system that we’ve had in the past just doesn’t work. This community has had high crime all my life, and we feel like this is the opportunity to do something different and get different results.”

Jimmy Kim, general manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, was also in attendance to mark the occasion which also featured a special performance by Chris Reza y Los Servidores, a mariachi band comprised of local police officers.

The park’s summer calendar promises special activities every weekend which includes football, volleyball and basketball clinics. Community organizations are also planning to host and deliver resources with interventionists remaining committed to their agenda to provide support.

Algin Sutton Park is named after the famed Cal Poly basketball player in the early 1950s before he embarked on a 30-year career in the Department of Recreation and Parks for the City of Los Angeles.