Fire & Police Protection
Building and other structure fires represent the primary fire hazard in Monterey Park. Brush fires pose only a minimal threat on the steep hillsides adjacent to Monterey Pass Road, near the Garvey Reservoir, and at limited locations where the backyards of homes slope into undeveloped and undevelopable canyons. Fire Department weed abatement requirements minimize the potential for brush fires to flare up and endanger lives and property.
To provide residents and the business community with a high level of fire protection, the city maintains its own municipal Fire Department. Fire stations locations at City Hall, on Monterey Pass Road, and on Garfield Avenue allow for response to any incident within eight to fourteen minutes, with an average response time of ten minutes. This level of protection has allowed the city over the years to receive a very high rating from the Insurance Services Organization (IS0). Historically, the city's ISO rating has been three (on a one to ten scale, with one representing the highest rating).
Fire Prevention Standards
The Fire Department maintains standards to assist in fire prevention and protection throughout the city. These standards are from the 1997 Uniform Fire Code, which has been adopted by the city. The minimum requirements include:
- Fire protection flows of 1,500 gallons per minute.
- Minimum twenty-foot road widths for fire vehicle access.
- A 100-foot clearance around structures located in brushy hillside areas.
In addition to these standards, the Los Angeles County Department of Agriculture conducts a wood abatement program and inspections to minimize fire danger in the wild land urban interface areas of the city. The City Hall and Monterey Pass Road fire stations are adequately sized to meet service demands. However, with new commercial and technology development occurring along Potrero Grande Road, the Garfield Avenue station faces the need for possible expansion or relocation to another site to ensure that all necessary equipment and personnel can be accommodated.
Police Services & Crime Prevention
The Monterey Park Police Department is based at City Hall. As part of its annual budgeting process, the City Council allocates funding for police staffing and equipment based on need and available resources.
The city recognizes the importance of crime prevention in reducing service calls and associated property loss and injuries to citizens. One method of addressing prevention is defensible space planning. Defensible space is a design concept that promotes site planning and building design features which deter vandals and criminals, thereby improving safety and security. Defensible spaces are highly visible and well lighted areas. Defensible design can be incorporated into both industrial and commercial development, as well as housing.
Nonresidential Development Defensible Design
For nonresidential development, effective defensible design features include:
- Well-lighted parking lots and driveways.
- Walkways that are well defined and connected to a particular building.
- Gates that help transition visitors and employees from the parking lot or street to the interior of the building.
- Exterior areas that are visible from the surrounding structures and businesses.
Residential Development Defensible Design
Residential defensible design features include:
- Well-lighted driveways and parking areas.
- Well-defined walkways that connect to a particular home or property.
- Gates that help transition visitors and residents from the driveway or street to the interior of the home.
- Entrances that are visible from the street and surrounding homes.
- Visible common recreation areas.
Long-term Need for Fire & Police Services
Although the city is virtually built out, the population is expected to increase gradually over time. Demand for fire and police protection services will increase incrementally as well. Each year, the city will continue to assess response times and other indicators to ensure adequate fire and police protection.
Provide city residents and the business community with a high level of fire protection.
- Policy 11.1
Continue to fund maintenance and staffing to ensure a five- to six-minute fire response time citywide.
- Policy 11.2
Maintain brush clearance and weed abatement programs to reduce the risk of fires.
- Policy 11.3
Provide adequate funding to allow the Fire Department to conduct regular inspections of businesses for compliance with fire safety codes.
- Policy 11.4
Maintain mutual aid agreements with fire departments from surrounding jurisdictions.
Provide city residents and the business community with a high level of protection from crime.
- Policy 12.1
Evaluate the number of officers, total population, and crime statistics on an annual basis to ensure that appropriate levels of police protection are provided citywide.
- Policy 12.2
Incorporate defensible space planning principles into the development review process.