The LAPD Read Along program began as the brainchild of Senior Lead Officer Joseph Oseguera of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Relationship Division to promote child literacy and build positive interactions with police officers in the community. He reached out to the library, and along with our librarian's assistance, brought the program to fruition.
What started as a weekly pilot program in February of 2016 at the Vermont Square and Vernon branch libraries, eventually grew to programs at Watts, Exposition Park Regional, West Valley Regional, Eagle Rock, and Cypress Park, with forays to the Pacoima, Venice, Little Tokyo, and John Muir locations. A uniformed police officer reads to children, ages ranging from toddlers to teenagers, and infuses the story time with educational components and fun, including the occasional visit with a black-and-white.
Since its inception, the program has been a mutually beneficial one for both the community and the LAPD officers. In addition to Officer Joe, Officers Chris McPheeters, Rasad Sharif, Eric Densmore, Kirk Madison, Norma Perez, Mannie Price, and Daryl Griffin have volunteered their time for the Read Along program. Now, however, Officer Joe is being transferred to work directly for Police Chief Moore and his new duties will not allow him to continue with the program he began. While the LAPD Department Command Staff have expressed their full support for the program, we hope they will continue to recognize the importance and impact of the Read Along on the communities it serves and remain steadfast in allocating officer resources and advocate for its continuation.
Officer Joseph Oseguera has been the guiding force and an inspiring and fervent proponent of the Read Along program. His continued involvement and leadership have made this amazing partnership a wondrous reality. We are so sad to see you go but wish you continued success in your career and the very best of everything.
Officer Joe's final Read Along is Friday, August 31, at the Vermont Square Branch Library. Thank you for being such an eloquent and tireless champion of the Read Along. We ❤ you!