The Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division hold an annual National Night Out Against Crime event at Poinsettia Park every August to connect with residents. This year’s Night Out included a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
More than 100 people were vaccinated, including Melrose District resident Cooper Campbell, who said he had initially been hesitant to receive a vaccine but now believes it is an important safety measure for himself and his family. Campbell was pleased the vaccine clinic was held in his neighborhood.
“The convenience of where it was located is great, because I live just halfway down the block,” Campbell said. “It seemed like it was easily accessible so I stopped by.”
Cristan Corona, who traveled to the park from Culver City and received vaccinations with her husband and teen children, said she believes it is important to protect others.
“I work with children so I want to make sure they are safe, and my family,” Corona said. “I am trying to protect my family.”
Peter Nichols, co-founder of the Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch, also said it was important to hold a vaccination clinic because coronavirus cases are again on the rise, particularly with the Delta variant. Melrose Action partnered with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which supplied the vaccines.
“It’s been super successful. There are a lot of people getting vaccinated.” Nichols said. “It’s important because the biggest threat to public safety is [a lack of] public health.”
While the vaccination clinic superseded the regular National Night Out event, representatives of the LAPD’s Wilshire Division attended and spoke with members of the community. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, 5th District, gave a commendation to Commander Shannon Paulson, who served as commanding officer of the Wilshire Division for two years before being promoted and leaving the station on Aug. 1. The police station’s new commanding officer, Capt. Sonia Monico, encouraged more community involvement.
“I am really looking forward to working with the community and our senior lead officers and patrol officers,” Monico told the small crowd that gathered. “This is my second day, so it is going to take me a little bit of time to get out and meet folks and talk to folks. Right now, with the resurgence of COVID, we are still doing stuff via Zoom. But be patient. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of working with you.”
In a new twist on the National Night Out theme, approximately 30 people, led by police officers, embarked on a walk through the Melrose neighborhood after sunset.
“Being that it’s National Night Out, we are doing our part,” said Sgt. A.J. Kirby, head of the Community Relations Office for the Wilshire Division. “It took a step backward in a sense. Because of the COVID numbers and everything going on, we morphed it into a vaccination event. But we want to do things that benefit our community. Vaccinations are what we need now, so we wanted to hold that type of event.”
Nichols said a second vaccination clinic will be held on Aug. 24, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Poinsettia Park, 7341 Willoughby Ave. People who received a first dose of the vaccine on Aug. 3 can get a second dose, and those who need an initial vaccine shot are encouraged to attend.
For information, visit melroseaction.org.
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