Application 06-12-005 et al.

Exhibit Date: August , 2008

PREPARED TESTIMONY OF TRAVIS FENDERSON

Q: A:

Please state your name, position, employer, and business address. My name is Travis Fenderson. I am Police Officer with the Los Angeles School Police

Department. My business address is 1330 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 90015. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Where are you stationed within the Los Angeles Unified School District? I am assigned to Foshay Learning Center. How long have you been with the School Police Department? I have been an officer for about one and a half years. What did you do before becoming an officer? I was a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District. I taught health to high

school students at Washington Preparatory School and Locke High School. I served as a health teacher for three years. Prior to that, I worked in a Level 14 Psychiatric Facility, where I taught various academic subjects to patients suffering from numerous psychological conditions. Several patients were violent, many were self-mutilators, and all were taking medication under a physician’s care. Q: What kind of training did you receive to become an officer?

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A:

I spent eighteen weeks at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy to earn my badge,

completing the same training that any County deputy sheriff is required to complete. While in the Sheriff’s Academy, I received basic training within various law enforcement related disciplines, including defensive tactics, basic knowledge of the penal codes, firearms training for use in a variety of conditions, and first responder training. Q: A: What are the powers of a School Police Officer? A School Police Officer is granted peace officer powers by the State of California. These

include the power to issue warrants, to arrest adults, to make traffic stops, and to respond to any criminal or suspected criminal activity, regardless of its location, on or off of school property. Q: A: What are your daily duties at Foshay? I am the only officer regularly assigned to Foshay. I spend from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at

the campus or patrolling nearby. I generally do not patrol west of Western, but I patrol the streets as far east as Vermont Avenue, as far north as 36th Street, and as far south as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. I assist the staff and faculty in controlling automobile and pedestrian traffic at arrival and dismissal. I intervene in student fights and assist with students who may be intoxicated or on drugs. Generally speaking, I am involved with all aspects of student safety. I am engaged in Community Based Policing, which means that I am constantly trying to prevent incidents or crimes before they occur. Q: A: What are your primary student safety concerns at Foshay? There is a lot of gang activity in the neighborhood around Foshay. Students come from

Manual Arts High School to loiter near our campus. Our students are frequently the targets of robberies for their cell phones or iPods. There are drug dealers in the area. I am also concerned about students fighting with each other or with gang members.

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Q:

Have there been any physical changes in the neighborhood around Foshay in recent

months? A: Yes. Construction has begun on the Expo line. The K rails have been installed to fence

in the tracks and I can no longer walk across, or even see across, Exposition Boulevard at Harvard Avenue. Q: A: How has this affected your ability to ensure student safety? This has seriously impacted my ability to monitor student activity and keep our students

from fighting or being robbed. Before the K rails were installed, if an incident occurred on the far side of Exposition, I would step into the street, stop traffic, and immediately cross to the other side. Today, students are aware that I cannot cross Exposition easily, and choose to have fights and engage in other dangerous behavior on the far side of Exposition, far more often today than before the construction began. With the K rails, it is difficult for me to even see the activity. Even when I can see what is taking place, it is very difficult for me to arrive in time to stop it. I must use the Harvard tunnel (when it is open), and this requires me to go underground, where I lose visual contact with the situation. This gives the suspects ample time to flee before I can arrive on the scene. I also must share the tunnel with the 300 to 400 students using it at dismissal, which results in a situation where I must fight crowds of students in order to quickly get to the other side. In addition, vendors that are forbidden from selling their goods on or near campus have begun to gather near the tunnel. They do this because I am not able to ask them to leave from across Exposition. If I need to run out of the tunnel quickly, I find that the vendors are blocking the way. Furthermore, I do not have radio communication when I am in the tunnel, so I am unaware of developments on the surface during the time that I am underground. The

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current construction has significantly affected my ability to keep our students from harm on the opposite side of Exposition. Q: Have you noticed an increase in crime taking place on the far side of Exposition

since construction began? A: Yes. On August 4, for instance, a few Foshay students were robbed at gunpoint.

The suspects that robbed them have been identified as members of a local street gang whose neighborhood is on the other side of Exposition. It is known that they come to this side of Exposition on bikes to commit crime because they can ride against traffic, slip across the tracks at Denker, and disappear into the neighborhood before police can go up to Western to turn around. This is just one example of how crime has increased in this area since Expo began constructing the light rail. Q: Are there any other areas near campus where you have particular concerns about

student safety? A: Yes. Many students cross Exposition at Western Avenue to access the shops at the

southwest corner of the intersection. There is a donut shop and a hamburger restaurant, both of which cater to the students at Foshay. Because they are such popular student hangouts, there are frequently fights or other crimes committed at these establishments. I am called frequently to the shops at Western. Q: A: How do students behave when crossing Western and Exposition? That intersection causes some difficulty for students. The middle school students do not

always obey traffic laws. In particular, they do not seem to understand the left hand signal (green arrow) and often cross against it. Q: Do emergency vehicles ever have to access Foshay?

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A:

Yes. I have had to call ambulances to help with student emergencies on several

occasions. One instance I recall is when a boy choked another boy. I had to call an ambulance to bring the student to the hospital. The ambulances take a variety of streets but are generally heading to California Hospital which is to the northeast. Q: Are you familiar with the plans for Exposition light rail train in the vicinity of

Foshay Learning Center? A: Q: A: Q: A: Yes. Do you have any concerns about the planned operations? Yes. What are your concerns about the planned operations? My experience to date with the closure of Harvard Avenue leaves me with grave concern

about my ability to ensure a safe environment for students when the Expo light rail is operating. As I discussed above, my inability to cross Exposition and remain in sight of students or suspects on the far side of Exposition Boulevard has reduced my capacity to effectively stop and deter crime in that location. When the train is operating, I will still be unable to cross Exposition in this location without needing to use the tunnel. As I discussed above, entering the tunnel cuts me off from radio communication and from visual contact with the scene of the crime or incident. If the tunnel is closed, I will have to travel to Western or Denker, by foot or by car, and this will increase my response time. I am also concerned about students using the intersection of Western and Exposition. I am concerned that students will try to beat the train, or that they will misunderstand the signals and cross at the wrong time. Q: In your opinion, could the tunnel be opened 24 hours a day?

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A:

No. Crime would skyrocket unless there were 24-hour security around the tunnel. And

the school does not have the resources for that kind of expanded coverage of the tunnel. Q: A: Would a pedestrian overcrossing alleviate any of your concerns? Yes, it would. From a law-enforcement perspective, having an overpass improves my

ability to see crime and maintain visual contact with suspects. I would also be able to remain in radio contact while on the overpass. Ideally, we could keep Harvard Boulevard open so that I could cross Exposition freely, either by elevating the train or putting it below ground. If that is not possible, having the overpass at least provides me with constant visual connection to the entire area. I would still have to share the overpass with hundreds of students during peak hours, which would delay my ability to respond to incidents. The overpass would have to be enclosed to ensure that students would not jump off of it or throw items from it. Q: If there were elevators on such an overcrossing, would they require monitoring and

supervision? A: Yes. In order to keep crime from occurring in the elevators, they would need access

control or monitoring. Q: A: Does this complete your testimony? Yes, it does.

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