Charred Material Found in Three Abandoned Homeless Camps
Circling the News received the following report this morning, October 27, from the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness: “We accompanied our beach detail this morning and found three abandoned camps in lower Corona del Mar bluffs behind the retaining wall that borders on PCH. Officers found a grill with recently charred materials. Our first responder volunteers cleaned everything up.”
The Los Angeles Police Department Beach detail has been vital in helping the homeless find housing, receive help from social workers and ensuring that fires are thwarted in the bluffs and hillsides surrounding Pacific Palisades.
(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin from the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness on October 26. The Beach Detail has been essential in helping work with the homeless population and the City has made severe police budget cuts that most likely will impact the loss of those officers. The Pacific Palisades, via the Community Council wrote a letter that did not support cutting police funding.)
Re: Preservation of the LAPD Beach Detail in Pacific Palisades
Dear Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Bonin,
We are concerned that the LAPD Beach Detail may be reassigned away from Pacific Palisades because of LAPD budget cuts.
The Pacific Palisades Taskforce on Homelessness (PPTFH) requests that the City continue funding for the Beach Detail (two officers). Without law enforcement along our coast and hillsides, there will be a surge in homeless camps on the beach and brush-filled areas.
Based upon conditions we encountered when PPTFH formed, the loss of the Beach Detail will result in more incidents of crime, including arson and illegal campfires that threaten our VHFSZ community members which includes those with homes and those experiencing homelessness.
There will also be increased cases of assault, theft and illegal drug use which have been significantly reduced due to the Palisades Beach Detail. The partnership between PPTFH and the LAPD Beach Detail has proven to be a cost-effective use of City resources and it should continue.
Since 2016, the LAPD Beach Detail has partnered with our Task Force and kept our community safe and has helped our homeless individuals receive compassionate, cost-effective services with access to permanent supportive housing. The following results have been achieved due to the partnership between PPTFH and the LAPD Beach Detail:
No hillside camps. Prior to 2016, there were 163 camps, and two brush fires started in populated hillside camps which endangered homes.
No permanent tents along the coastline, reducing crime on our beaches and in our neighborhoods. Prior to 2016 there were clusters of tents and an increase of crime in our community.Vehicle dwelling laws have been enforced. Prior to 2016, these laws were not enforced.
132 previously homeless individuals are off the streets and sheltered.
85 previously homeless individuals have been permanently housed.
71% reduction in the number of local homeless individuals, per the 2020 LAHSA annual homeless count.
The LAPD Beach Detail fills a service and protection gap by providing critical assistance in areas not covered by LAFD, County Lifeguards, Beaches and Harbors, RAP and State Park officials on safety, crime, and drug-related issues.
In 2019, PPTFH purchased an off-road vehicle and donated it to the LAPD Beach Detail. This vehicle is used to patrol our fire-prone hillsides in posted fire-restricted areas in RAP and State Park lands where LAPD has jurisdiction.
It is also used to transport our community funded outreach workers from The People Concern so they can engage homeless individuals who would otherwise be unreachable.
The Beach Detail also prevents fires in these dense areas by alerting our first responder team to remove abandoned fire materials and encampment trash. Without the LAPD Beach Detail, PPTFH’s volunteers could not access these hillside areas due to the dangerous conditions, and the hillsides could become repopulated with homeless camps—increasing the threat of fire from camps. If the LAPD Beach Detail is cut from LAPD funding, our work will suffer in helping and protecting our homeless people in these areas as well as our community.
Please continue to fund the LAPD Beach Detail so we can continue our successful and effective work in Pacific Palisades.
Sharon Browning, Co-Chair PPTFH Sharon Kilbride, Co-Chair PPTFH
cc: Michel Moore, Chief of Police, LAPD
Steve Soboroff, Commissioner, Los Angeles Police Commission
Capt. III Jonathan Tom, Commanding Officer, West LAPD
Kevin Taylor, West Area Representative, Mayor Garcetti
David Card, Chair, Pacific Palisades Community Council