Dr. Jason Douglas, Dr. Dede Teteh
The health impact of elevated gang activity on the residents of South Los Angeles has been a pressing concern with limited research. Thus, this study aimed to understand the potential health repercussions within this context, specifically by examining how different patrolling systems influence community members' physical activity in public parks. To increase security, the city of Los Angeles implemented police patrol programs in multiple high-risk parks. Concurrently, the Advocates for Urban Peace & Unity (APUU), a local community organization, introduced a novel approach of community-led park patrolling. Essentially, respected community members volunteer to patrol and maintain safety and order in the parks. Our study compared activity levels of community members within parks patrolled by police versus parks patrolled by community members. During the summer of 2023, we observed 17 parks in South Los Angeles – 8 patrolled by APUU community members and 9 patrolled by police. We collected and recorded data during each observation, then transferred and analyzed data by SPSS software. Preliminary findings suggest an anticipated higher physical activity rate in community-patrolled parks. The underlying hypothesis is that individuals will feel more comfortable and safe when surrounded by their own community members, and hence, encouraged to engage in physical exercise within these environments.
Delgado, Valeria N. and Ramos, Melissa R., "South Los Angeles Park Observation Research" (2023). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 607.