AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventCity officials approved the transfer after they recognized a need for enhanced law enforcement in the city after an alleged gang rape of a 13-year-old girl in a Smith Park restroom last July. They also cited increased gang activity in the city, said City Manager Chuck Fuentes. After Fuentes met with Rothans earlier this year, the station commander came up with a list of improvements. “We had seen an upswing in gang activity in our city and neighboring areas and wanted to do something about it,” said Fuentes. “Basically our goal is to do whatever we can to decrease crime.” The new two-person patrol came out of a pilot program that Rothans tried in January for eight days, where two deputies handled only gang-related issues. In that program, 29 gang members were arrested for such crimes as auto theft, weapon possession and parole violations. PICO RIVERA – Beginning Sunday, two new deputies riding together in one car will begin patroling in neighborhoods known for gang activity.The stepped-up patrol was made possible by Pico Rivera City Council transferring $143,000 from the city general fund to the Sheriff’s Department budget. The money will also be used to add a nuisance-abatement deputy, four community service assistants and to put new Pico Rivera decals on sheriff’s vehicles in the city. “The idea is to make our parks better, take gang members off the street and provide residents with a feeling of ownership when they see the patrol cars,” said Capt. Michael Rothans of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station. “Saturating the area and taking a no-tolerance attitude proved to be a success,” he said. The nuisance-abatement deputy will work closely with the gang deputies and city staff, particularly code enforcement, to address long-term nuisance locations in the city. The goal will be to hold residents and business owners accountable for crimes that take place on their property, said Rothans. The new community service assistants will patrol city parks to free up deputies to deal with criminal and emergency calls. They are not sworn deputies but get training at the station and are paid for the work, said Rothans. The nuisance-abatement deputy and community assistants will start work within two to three weeks, said Rothans. The new decals, including the words Pico Rivera, the city seal, the sheriff’s star and the word sheriff, will be on the station’s 30 patrol cars within two weeks. “The goal is to make our residents feel better and our neighborhoods safer,” said Rothans. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!