HIGHLAND PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department is deploying uniformed officers to conduct foot patrols on the highly trafficked North Figueroa Corridor in Highland Park.
The increased police presence comes after L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo secured a grant to pay for two foot patrol officers, three days a week for the next 2 1/2 years.
"We are going to put officers on foot to be visible, to make connections with the businesses," said Capt. Arturo Sandoval with LAPD's Northeast Division.
"We wanted to do this as a preventative measure to have police, better to actually have them walking, and on the weekends when most of the issues happen, where there's more foot traffic," said Conrado Terrazas Cross, a spokesperson for Cedillo.
Police say crime in the area is down, but more people are visiting as more businesses open.
One restaurant owner says he welcomes the foot patrols.
"If we have the officers here already I think it's going to help improve response for many things that need their attention," said Carlos Lopez.
But some residents say the money could be better spent elsewhere.
"Now it's all gentrified, everything is new, everybody is new, there's no violence anymore. I think the money should probably have went to clean up the streets and homelessness. I think that's a bigger problem," said Highland Park resident Stephanie Herrera.
Terrazas Cross says resources are being gathered for homelessness.
"The number is about 900 of homeless supportive units that we have opened since we've been in office, so we are putting resources on homelessness, as well as affordable housing and providing a safer environment for our constituents," said Terrazas Cross.
LAPD starts foot patrols in Highland Park's North Figueroa Corridor