LAFD and CORE Employees Spearhead Northeast Community Vaccination Effort

VOICES-The Community Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination distribution site at the Los Angeles Police Museum located in Highland Park reached an all-time milestone.  

The individuals in charge of this mobile unit (photo above) were employees of the Los Angeles City Fire Department and employees of Sean Penn's Community Organized Relief Effort ( CORE). 

On March 24, more than 524 individuals received their COVID-19 vaccinations. This was the highest number of vaccinations distributed on any given day at any of the established Community Mobile Vaccination units throughout the city of Los Angeles. This was the second round of the COVID-19 vaccinations for the Northeast community, held at the Los Angeles Police Museum. Both community residents and those individuals employed within the Northeast community received their vaccinations. Both first and second doses were administered from March 23 through March 27, 2021. 

Again, on March 25, more than 500 vaccines were administered. The numbers would have been higher, but the fire department had to redistribute vaccine from the LAPD Museum site to another location that was short on vaccines for second dose recipients. More than 35 walk ups had to be turned away. 

On March 26, once again more than 524 individuals received vaccinations. More than 40 people were turned away as the site ran out of doses.   

On March 27, the last day of the second round of vaccinations, 550 people received their COVID-19 shots. Many more would have been vaccinated as more than 50 people were turned away when the site again ran out of vaccine. 

What was so impressive was that many local businesses within our community donated items to the CORE and Fire department employees. A local market donated over a pallet of bottled water which was distributed to the recipients of the vaccine. A local restaurant donated large pizzas for both the CORE and Fire department employees, and community residents donated fresh fruit which was given out to vaccine recipients. An established donut business provided croissants and donuts for both the CORE and Fire department employees. Community residents also provided food items for all of those involved in the distribution of the vaccine. The Los Angeles Police Museum staff members presented a large sheet cake thanking both the LA City Fire and Core employees for their services to our community. 

A reporter from NBC stopped by the site but there was no one present who was authorized to give an interview. The reporter also stated that they could not take any photos of this special event because it would have been a major violation of HIPPA. (Federal  Medical Information Privacy Act.)  

CD14 Councilman Kevin De León staff member Cynthia Cruz ,apparently not aware of the HIPPA Privacy Act, was observed on March 27 taking photos of those individuals waiting in line for their vaccinations. She had to be told twice by this writer to stop taking the photos. I subsequently learned that the photos were for Kevin De León's social media account.    

There will be a third round of vaccinations at the Los Angeles Police Museum site on April 13 through April 17, 2021. According to Veronica Polanco from the Los Angeles City Mayors office, there will be no walk ups -- only appointments for the vaccinations. 

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that a group of diverse residents and community volunteers from our neighbors in the Glassell Park and Mount Washington area – namely, Andy Montealegre, Helen B-J Wong, Gladys Pinto- Munoz, Maggie Darret-Quaroz, and Bradly-- reached out early on to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s office in an attempt to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations for their senior residents who resided in the CD1 areas. 

The above were contacted by the Mayor’s office COVID-19 coordinator Veronica Polanco, who made arrangements for the Mobile Vaccination unit to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to the Glassell Park and Mount Washington area residents. To date, they have had two successful distributions of COVID-19 at their Glassell Park vaccination site located at the Glassell Park Recreation Center. It is anticipated that there will be a third round of vaccinations there as well. 

Hats off to the above-named community volunteers who made this successful vaccine distribution  take place within their community.


(Caroline Aguirre is a retired 24-year State of California law enforcement officer, LAPD family member, community activist and Neighborhood Watch captain. Aguirre is a CityWatch contributor.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.