Some South Gate residents have referred to the alley in Wisconsin Avenue, near the intersection of Tweedy Boulevard and Long Beach Boulevard, as a sort of, “no man’s land”. Insisting, that this is a place where illegal behavior, such as prostitution and the consumption of drugs, has flourished. Making residents feel very unsafe.
“One will go out in fear,” said Saul Cuevas, a South Gate resident whose house is located adjacent to the alley on Wisconsin Avenue. He also added that drug users in the alley will act irrationally and violently. “They will sometimes get into fights and act crazy.”
The alley, which is actually located in Lynwood, has South Gate residences toone side, and Lynwood businesses to the other. Most illicit behavior occurs at night, which is why the South Gate resident’s allege to being more affected by this, and as a result more active towards wanting to fix the issue.
“I will call the city of South Gate, but they will tell me that I need to call Lynwood,” said Cuevas, who has been living with this difficulty for the past 6 years. “Nobody wants to do anything about this problem.”
It was the inaction on behalf of both cities that led Community in Action (CIA), a South Gate organization of self-proclaimed concerned citizens, to help these residents. The organization still patrols the area and even paid for two security cameras to better monitor the situation.
“The neighbors don’t know what to do,” said Tony Morales, a South Gate resident and member of CIA, as he pointed towards several alleged empty small bags ("baggies") of marijuana, that could be found within the most hidden area of the alley. The drug users, he said, range from South East High School students to gang members. “People feel they can come here and do whatever they want.”
The South Gate Police Department (SGPD) is aware of the problems in this alley. They admit to trying to address some of the issues, but insist that they are limited because of the jurisdiction of the alley.
“The alley is closely watched by both South Gate and Lynwood,” said Captain Keith Hupp of the SGPD. "But they need to call the Sheriff's Department [in Lynwood] if there is a problem in the alley.”
Residents familiar with the situation admit that things have gotten better over the past few months. Morales, Cuevas and Waldo Perez, another CIA member involved with addressing this problem, cited the security cameras and better police work as the reason for the recent drop in illegal activity.
However, they persist that the problem is far from fixed, and that prostitution, drug usage, and graffiti, among other things, are still plaguing the alley.
Further insisting that this problem is affecting the quality of life of South Gate residents, and that Lynwood has to take the lead in fixing it, because illegal behavior cannot be tolerated.
“The authorities in Lynwood need to address this issue,” affirmed Morales.
Patch has made a request to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department station in Lynwood for data that can illustrate the amount of criminal incidents that have been reported in this alley. However, no data was received prior to the publication of this article.
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