Long Beach residents seek patrol after more attacks on gays

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Residents at a hate crime forum Sunday advocated the formation of a community watch program in the wake of a Halloween attack on two gay men.

The program would resemble a similar community watch program called Teams Project, whose volunteers patrolled the Broadway Corridor in the late 1980s and early 1990s after gay people had been attacked. The group eventually disbanded when the violence stopped, said Vanessa Romain, who was a volunteer with the program.

"We need to get back on the streets with our whistles and walkie-talkies," Romain said.

More than 75 people attended the afternoon forum at the Bixby Park Community Center. The meeting was organized by The Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and the Long Beach Police Department.

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