“I was at the park yesterday with my daughter and a young girl was taken by ambulance. She seemed unresponsive,” a resident wrote Circling the News on September 23.
The resident said that it happened in the area behind the library and that many teenagers who were standing there said it was an overdose.
The resident hoped the girl was okay, and hoped this might be a cautionary tale for other teens in this area.
A second reader wrote, “There were three fire trucks on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Rec Center. My husband walked over, and a girl was passed out and then being lifted into an ambulance. There were dozens of teens gathered around. They said she had been ‘throwing up.’”
The girl was described as 16, experiencing a medical emergency, and had been transported to the hospital.
CTN contacted Senior Lead Office Brian Espin and also West Los Angeles Bureau Captain Richard Gabaldon, and asked, “if it was a drug overdose, it might mean it would be good for LAPD narcotics to know. Residents would also like to know if she survived.” There was no response.
One parent said was overdose and that the girl had taken an animal tranquilizer. CTN hopes it was not Xylazine, which is a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer not approved for human use. It has been linked to an increasing number of overdose deaths nationwide in the evolving drug addiction and overdose crisis. Narcon doesn’t work with xylazine.
Additionally, fireworks and other illegal activity was taking place after hours at the Palisades Recreation Center.
Palisades Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin wrote in an email to the community that “I am aware of the issues at the park. The park is listed as one of the extra/directed patrol area’s for the Patrol officers.
“Unfortunately, we are extremely short-staffed and have to prioritize the emergency calls for service,” Espin said. “The reality is the patrol officers do check the park when they are available but the kids either leave the area or hide and then when the patrol car leaves is when the activity occurs.
“I wish I could post a Patrol unit there all night on the weekends, but we just don’t have the resources,” Espin said. “I will meet with the park director and see what ideas we can do to better address the after-hours activity.”
One resident asked, “I was wondering if any of the neighbors who live near the Park have Palisades Patrol, ACS or ADT and could ask them to patrol the area more often in the evening and later in the night. The local S.L.O. is overwhelmed and short of staff to come to our aid. He does do a great job with homeless and everything else he has to handle in our area though.”
The reader is right that LAPD is severely understaffed.
NBC reported in August (“Fewest Cops in a Generation: LAPD Shrinks below 9,000 Officers), “the number of officers employed by the LAPD has dropped below 9,000, a staffing level unseen since the administration of former LA Mayor Richard Riordan in the 1990s.
“Several City officials told NBC’s I-Team that as of July 30 there were 8,967 officers employed, far below Mayor Karen Bass’ goal of 9,500 officers, and about 300 below what the current budget allows, roughly 9,300 officers.
“Since then, another class graduated from the LAPD academy — bringing the total number of officers to 8,995, though it will be several months before the newest officers complete field training.
“A new academy class began last week at less than half capacity.”
This might explain to Pacific Palisades residents the reason for slow police response or why patrolling is not happening.