People of Northeast Los Angeles: Frank Serrano

My name is Frank Serrano. I work for Los Angeles police department, Northeast division. I've been here for about eleven and a half years, and I work as the senior lead officer where I'm in charge of improving quality of life for the community here. I'm in charge of Cypress Park, Glassell Park, and part of the Mount Washington area. I go out and meet with the community members and neighborhood watch, and discuss how we can reduce crime and increase quality of life. We work on gang problems and drug problems. We also work on neighborhood disputes. I come in and help them work it out amongst themselves without escalating to the use of any violence.

At the same time, I also do prevention education and interact with the community to involve the youth in positive roles within the community. We do not want kids to get involved in the negative ways, and we're doing a pretty good job. It looks like it is getting better, and it is education and prevention that are most important for the community and the families.

I used to work in gang units and gang prevention, and there has been a dramatic change in the last ten years. As a matter of fact, I just got back from a meeting in downtown where we were talking about the changes that we have made. We are seeing less victims, which is what we strive for every day. We make sure people don't get hurt and property is protected. Maintaining a crime free community environment is the goal of our work here.

I have my own family. I have kids and I see them growing up and getting involved in sports and different activities that the youth can get involved in. A lot of times, teenagers just need some guidance.

I come from a family where it was just my mom, and she was working, but she was always checking on us. She made sure that we were going to school and staying out of trouble.

I think that it's very important that parents get involved. I go out and talk to the parents about their teenagers, their fourteen, fifteen, sixteen year olds, and role that they have to play in their kids' lives. We have to make sure they are supervised in the activities they are involved in. I think that because of my personal experience with my family, I can at least go out and talk to parents about what has worked. That's why I'm here. I graduated high school, joined the Marine Corps, and joined LAPD. It helped me a lot to establish my foundation. Now I'm doing the same thing with my kids.

I tell the community about my personal experiences and I am motivated to help the youth because they're the future. That's the bottom line. The teenagers that we have need some guidance and mentorship. They are the future of the city of Los Angeles. They're the ones who are going become the leaders later on. We want them to become something positive for the community. What are they going to be giving back to the community as they grow?


The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

About People of
Northeast Los Angeles
These are stories from the everyday people that make-up Northeast Los Angeles, particularly the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, and Elysian Valley. See some of our featured portraits below, explore by neighborhood, or see all the stories.





About the Author

For the past twenty years, Chilean born Ricardo Palavecino has been developing his skills as a cinematographer working on documentaries, feature films, television shows, and commercials.
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