By CBSLA Staff

FAIRFAX (CBSLA) – It’s an area known for its vibrant eclectic flair: as Melrose Avenue offers food, shopping, and a true feel of Los Angeles. But this summer it got a reputation for crime.

“You have the guys outside the Shoe Palace who was shot,” said Jimmy Jabahan of Heat Exchange Melrose. “Zero was robbed at gunpoint.”

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Janbahan said the crime in the area is increasing at a dramatic rate.

“It’s been absolutely the worst I’ve ever seen it, living here all my life,” he added.

Peter Nichols heads Melrose Action, an organization trying to curb the increasing crime rate.

“We had a murder in front of a shoe store down the street,” Nichols told CBSLA Tuesday. “That incident really became a tipping point to where the merchants and the neighbors couldn’t handle it anymore.”

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The Los Angeles Police Department is increasing funding for more officers on foot, bicycles and even horseback to patrol the area.

“The citizens of LA expect and demand to be in a crime-free area,” said St. Ken Price of the LAPD. “So having one street crime is too much.”

And the efforts have been helping: Overall crime in the last month is down 30 percent compared to the month before, the LAPD reported.

The increase in patrols is part of a new program funded by LA Councilman Paul Koretz, who is using his district’s discretionary fund to pay for overtime for officers. It has paid over $30,000 so far.

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Councilman Koretz’s Office said the $30,000 buys about 300 hours of overtime. They plan to keep the funding coming, to make sure this area is as safe as possible.