Business Corridor Study Finds Law Enforcement Out of Touch With Boyle Heights Businesses

Inactive city services in Boyle Heights was a general theme in a recent Boyle Heights business assessment study. Business owners described roads and sidewalks having been in disarray, and trash is regularly dumped on the street.

But the researches most surprising find was the disconnect between the Los Angeles Police Department and Boyle Heights businesses.

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“While it’s worked good with community policing, (the police department) has done less a good job of reaching out to businesses,” said Roberto Barragan, president of Valley Economic Development Center.

In the preliminary report,  researches found that local gangs were extorting money from businesses in multiple corridors. When VEDC researchers told Cpt. Anita Ortega at the Hollenbeck Police Department that businesses paid protection money to gangs, Barragan said she denied such a claim.

In April, the Valley Economic Development Center will open a branch at the Boyle Hotel to act as a mediator for people looking for access to alternative capital and follow up the work from the business assessment.

The study was able to get up to 40 percent of the businesses it surveyed to participate. Many of the main corridors like Cesar Chavez Avenue, First Street, and Whittier Boulevard were included in the study, while Eighth Street was excluded. JPMorgan Chase & Co. funded the survey and decided which corridors to look at.

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Here is a list of other findings in the study:

1) Lack of city services

2) Sidewalk repair, street repair is needed.

3) Inadequate parking in multiple corridors

4) 40% lot vacancy on Olympic Boulevard

While the report recommended some corridors add more parking, that the proposed solutions were compiled by the current business owners. Traffic and parking studies need to be done in order to formulate more accurate soltuions, Barragan added.

  • Dave

    Wow! I drive around Boyle Heights often. I did not know that businesses paid gangs.

    That’s sad. I personally believe South LA’s police may not have a strong relationship with local businesses too. Thanks for writing about under privileged areas in Los Angeles.


  • Dave

    In addition, I have seen some of the sidewalks and they are bad conditions. The lack of city services did not surprise, however I did think that Jose Huizar was closer to his community. Apparently he is not. I remember him campaigning around 1st and Soto. Some of these areas looked neglected.

  • Voicenews4u

    Unfortunately, I must agree with this report. Hollenbeck Division has become out of touch of what is happening in the streets.

    The communication between this department and stakeholders is very little to none. Community members know that I am a Public Safety advocate and know these streets very well.

  • Theprezbea

    Huizar is busy “Rebuilding” Broadway and voting for weed Dispensers and Helping a New Candidate for Mayor .. Come to find out, she looks down on Hispanics, calling us Hainas. during a breakfast this week….. Yet Boyle Heights is on the back burner. Streets, sidewalks and Bad Lighting in the streets..When calling in a break in last night, Police tell you they will be there in 45min … what a joke!.. Great Projects looking to take place in Boyle Heights , yet he doesn’t support…. Time For us to re-evaluate who represents us , and make a change.

  • Anonymous

    With the LAPD gunning down innocent people in the street ( ), perhaps the gangs actually provide valuable protection services — since you sure can’t rely on the LAPD nutters, who shoot people at random, to keep you safe.

  •  What Gangs? Wow is this 1980 and still following that lie that Geraldo Rivera did way back when. I live on the corner of the “most dangerous street” in L.A. according to him… and all that was a lie! Nothing every happened here, perhaps graffiti… but nothing else. The police don’t do anything… it’s not the gangs that are a problem but all the damn street vendors… you can’t walk on the sidewalks cause all these ******** have taco and bbq on the sidewalks. They do nothing of people parking in driveways or vehicle with expired tags, and don’t get me tarted on the dozens people rummaging through trash cans. They ruined 8th st by making it one land…. and with a bike lane???? Are you serious! Both the local council and P.D. do nothing but to serve their own.