Concerned that gang members are taking over about 20 county parks, a Los Angeles County task force has put together a plan to spend $1.5 million to increase police patrols and to create a new division to patrol Pasadena-area parks. The Report on Gang Task Force Recommendations by Chief Administrative Officer David E. Janssen came out earlier this month. The only Whittier-area park on the list was Amigo Park, which is near the far western edge of the city near the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway in the heart of the turf of the Jim Town street gang. Despite Amigo Park being put on the list of problem parks, there have been few reports of violence there the last year, said Capt. Sam Morales of the Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety, who is the commander for area patrols. “We’ve kind of put extra patrol on that park,” he said. “We’ve been paying more attention. It’s kind of calmed down a little bit over there.” Countywide, the report proposes an Office of Public Safety base be opened somewhere in the West San Gabriel Valley area. The report also calls for 14 new officer positions, several of which would be dedicated to the Whittier area. The patrol increase is in response to concerns from Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke that parks all over the county were getting a reputation for being dangerous. “We had people call us saying they have been trying to have baseball practice, and that they felt the gang members were intimidating them,” said John Hill, Burke’s chief of staff. In addition to increased patrols, the county also plans to kick off a campaign to convince people to tell the authorities of problems at the park, according to Sheila Ortega, spokeswoman for the county’s parks and recreation department. The campaign would include an eagle mascot – Seemore the Eagle – that would be used to help children feel comfortable reporting what goes on at parks, she said. And the county’s Probation Department has notified all people on probation, by phone or in person, that they will be found in violation of probation if they hassle or intimidate other park users, according to the county report. Exactly when the majority changes would take place still must be decided, said Judy Hammond, a spokeswoman for the county’s executive office. The report is being passed around to different county departments. “We don’t think it will need to go to a vote of the supervisors,” she said. “If people from all the departments in the task force approve the plan, we’ll implement it.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!