June 28, 2003. Chances are, if you live in the Hollywood Hills you know
of Fran Reichenbach in some way. Maybe not by name. Maybe not by face. But during
the two-month Hollywood Hills crime spree, many residents have been kept up-to-date on the
series of home invasions and robberies through Reichenbachs leg work.
Reichenbach, who is involved in several neighborhood groups, runs the website
beachwoodcanyon.org, which has crime reports, updates and tips related to criminal
incidents in the Hollywood Hills.
She regularly fetches the crime blotter from the Los Angeles Police Departments
Hollywood station and has used it as a tool to find the trouble spots in the area.
When her daughter was growing up, Reichenbach told her, Dont let me hear about
you driving through Yucca and Ivar.
As one of the community leaders receiving regular updates on the Hills crimes from Cpt.
Michael Downing of the Hollywood Division, Reichenbach is a source of information for
She sends out e-mail alerts, updates her website and includes crime information in her
quarterly Beachwood Voice newspaper - which she lays-out herself.
She used to publish all the crime in the blotter that happened in her neighborhood but
later stopped the practice, she said.
It took up a lot of ink, says Reichenbach, a tall, serious-looking woman with
long light-blonde hair. That was a big one. And there was a certain morbid curiosity
that it inspired. I found it much more productive to read them myself and give a brief
But despite her deep involvement in the neighborhood, Reichenbach shies away from taking
credit for her efforts, pointing to the help given by others.
Im touched by the level of involvement of the neighbors, she says.
Some of the neighbors I have never known before and their support is amazing.
If a controversy erupts in the Hills, chances are Reichenbach is on the case. When
officials were discussing opening a needle exchange in a Hollywood clinic, she helped lead
the charge to kill the idea - and recently succeeded.
When the fire department was weighing putting a new station near the intersection of
Garfield Place and Hollywood Boulevard, Reichenbach was among the vocal activists opposing
the move. That idea also died.
She has helped several residents organize neighborhood watch groups, she said. She spends
an hour to an hour-and-a-half each week walking the neighborhood and calls the city to
pick up any bulky items she notices, she says. She organizes meetings, such as the one a
few weeks ago that drew 130 people eager to learn about the recent crime spree, she says.
She is president of the Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association, president of the
Franklin-Hollywood Hills Community Councils action team and took an active role in
forming the Hollywood Gower Neighborhood Association.
By the way, she also posts information on her website from two other neighborhood
councils, she says.
She doesnt work, but even so, how does she find time to be involved in so many
Thats a good question, says Reichenbach. That really is. Because
at times I wonder that, too. You just kind of put one foot in front of the other and do
what it takes.
And there are a lot of people working with me, too. Once in a while, when I start
feeling sorry for myself, I look around and say, Geez, there are lots of volunteers
Although she has lived in the Beachwood Canyon for 19 years, she first got involved six
years ago, when she opposed a proposed development in the Hills.
The whole thing ... is that I had committed six years ago that I was going to serve
the community, period, she says.