Palisades’ Loss Is West L.A.’s Gain

Officer Bermudez discovered a homeless encampment deep in the brush of Pacific Palisades.

One of the biggest assets to Pacific Palisades Beach Detail, was officer Jose Bermudez. If you were up at 3 a.m. on some mornings, you might find him with a partner on the local beaches or hillsides looking for illegal camping by the homeless.

He worked odd hours to ensure the safety of residents in this community. (Signs are posted that camping is not allowed because the entire town of the Palisades is in a very high fire severity zone.)

His efforts, his teamwork and dedication did not go unnoticed by the Los Angeles Police Department, and this month Bermudez started a new job as Senior Lead Officer in the Sawtelle neighborhood.

“I will continue to work close with SLO Brian Espin and the Beach Detail,” Bermudez said in an interview. “I was proud and privileged to serve and work in the Pacific Palisades.”

Born in Torrance, and growing up in Carson, he’s spent his life in Southern California. “The beach has always been near and dear to me,” he said.

His fascination with law enforcement traces to an older brother, who is also with LAPD, and a cousin, who recently retired as Chief of Police at El Segundo.

But, maybe you could blame television shows for his occupation choice. “I grew up watching Adam 12, Miami Vice, 21 Jump Street, Dragnet and CHIPS, which were all great,” he said.

Bermudez first assignment to the beach wasn’t Will Rogers, but rather in 2011, he patrolled Venice, Dockweiler and Oakwood. He worked with the LAPD Pacific Division and every summer was assigned on loan to the beach detail.

He came to the LAPD beach detail in 2021 and was partnered with Officer Margin. The two worked closely with Sergeant Alpert, Palisades Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin and Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness Sharon Kilbride.

Although named the beach detail, which makes it sound like it could be a cushy job, this particular assignment is dangerous. Two police, who hike in far off areas, can make them a target for some of the homeless who are dangerous – and many are out on felony warrants.

Ticks, snakes and dangerous terrain are part of what the beach detail officers transverse to make sure “campers” don’t set hillsides on fire.

“There are safety concerns,” Bermudez said. “Not too many people know where to find us when were out in the canyons and hillsides.”

About Bermudez and Margin, Kilbride said, “They both were outstanding officers and worked closely with PPTFH. I referred to them as the A Team.

“Their work keeping our hillsides camp free was extraordinary and were truly team players keeping our outreach workers and volunteers safe,” Kilbride said and noted that on May 9, 2023, both officers received Certificates of reignition by Council woman Traci Park for their outstanding work in the Palisades.

As a SLO, Bermudez’s new area includes Wilshire Boulevard to the North, the 10 Freeway to the South, Centinela Avenue to the West and the 405 Freeway to the East.

“Officer Bermudez will be missed but we at PPTFH are very proud of his promotion,” Kilbride said.  “The WLA area is very fortunate to have him as their SLO.”

As he steps into his new job, he told CTN, “My biggest challenge is getting to know and meet with all my business owners and residents who live, work and do business in the area, which is time consuming.”

To the Palisades he said, “I would like to say thank you to the Pacific Palisades community for their support and backing of their law enforcement officers who serve the community.”

Councilmember Traci Park (right) presented certificates to Officers Bermudez (left) and Margin (absent). SLO Brian Espin accepted for Margin, who had made a felony arrest and could not attend. the Palisades Task Force on Homelessness’ Sharon Kilbride looks on.

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One Response to  Palisades’ Loss Is West L.A.’s Gain

  1. Jane DuBovy says:

    I have always wondered why we don’t have at least 2 cars assigned to the Palisades. We have a high-density population, homeowners are not being re-insured due to fires, a new assistive living site in the highlands, increased crime, and marauding teens causing mischief that results in property damage. It has become out of control and it has impacted business, traffic, and safety. We don’t have as much homeless problem in the town but obviously on the hillsides w/ the encampments. We have several private patrol companies but they aren’t addressing the day-to-day issues that have come to make our town not the more pleasant conclave of the past. Can’t we use our resources more effectively? Tickets for teens where Parents have to appear w/ them in juvenile court? Our hiking communities who can help w/ spotting encampments that can then be reported to the powers that be. Community service for teens who don’t seem to have much to do except harass their elders. We need parents on board too.

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