Ever wonder why the Palisades doesn’t look like Venice Beach?
For over five years LAPD Officer Rusty Redican has patrolled our beach and bluffs that was, prior to his work, overrun with both homeless encampments and active fire threats. Receiving numerous commendations for managing the drug addicted and mentally ill population, he maintains a town that is safe for the housed and provides services to the unhoused.
While Rusty was away following surgery, replacement assigned officers simply did not achieve the same results. Encampments proliferated not just in bluffs but on our streets and in our town, close to schools and children. Known encampment areas did not get patrolled, we had fires set by the homeless.
Is our image of law enforcement when heroic intervention is required? Or is it the constant vigilance and prevention of incidents?
Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness data shows increasing transient activity into the Palisades. In a fire-prone geography we cannot have sloppy policing or news conferences after our homes have burnt down.
Managing the public safety of Pacific Palisades is a lot like piloting a giant plane with 29,000 people on it, 24/7. We expect Los Angeles government and LAPD to get prevention of incidents down pat.
You would think LAPD would see fit to have the most qualified candidate manage its services in this town. Police officers are not interchangeable widgets.
Residents in the Pacific Palisades, our Community Council, HOAs and Residents Association clearly asked that Rusty get the senior lead officer job in our town, prior to the interview process.
All community requests were ignored.
Apparently, LAPD HR practices are not based on merit and, in the case of the Palisades, based on this community’s requests and particular needs for experienced patrol of our flammable hillsides.
Can the current selections for SLO name all the dangerous locations of encampments on our bluffs that must be routinely patrolled, and what is their experience in working with drug addicts and the mentally ill homeless?
It is both disappointing and deeply disturbing that our city government and its department, LAPD, have now clearly demonstrated that they do not care about community input or community impact.
It is very poor stewardship of our trust in them that they choose to make unilateral decisions on public safety—whether it is proposing building homeless shelters on our beach or failing to promote the best qualified police officer for the job.
A Letter to the Palisades
Pacific Palisades … I would like to start off by saying that my partner, Jimmy Soliman, and I hold the Palisades community in the highest possible regard. What we’ve accomplished in five and a half years has been an amazing and successful effort to be a part of. It has been one of the most personally rewarding efforts to help people that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of.
My phone, email and social media have been non-stop with support for the past three-plus weeks. I cannot possibly return the overwhelming amount of messages I have received in a timely fashion. I share your frustration, disappointment and feelings of betrayal.
As for the decision of West LA management and others to not select me for the official Palisades senior lead officer position? A position that I have been doing as a duty, along with my own work, yet not in title or pay, for five and a half years.
My family and I are not only deeply disappointed, like many Palisades citizens and many of my fellow officers, but also deeply offended by this indefensible decision. The sacrifices my family has made in these past five and a half years have been more than they should have had to make.
So my wife is also, very understandably, upset with LAPD management at the moment for this very public slight. But then she sees more than most, just how much extra effort I have put in. She also knows that I don’t know any other way to work than 100% focus and effort.
They did not like my personal opinions on pragmatic solutions to homelessness that I penned several months ago. Evidently honesty, transparency and measured/open conversation about a serious issue are frowned upon by some.
But like one should always do, I will eventually shake this very public and malicious slight off, and apply my abilities, focus and bonafides to something else. It is unknown yet, whether, or how much longer, I will stay in the Palisades, as I’m getting quite a few offers, from outside and inside the department. Fortunately hard work, and hard workers, are in high demand.
But again, I will always love the Palisades for what we were able to come together and accomplish. The rest of the region is now doing, or trying to do what we have successfully done, for the past five and a half years. Many people are far better off due to that teamwork. And that is a great thing.
Whether I stay or go … I hope that the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness will continue to get your support. They make a difference and have saved lives.
I should probably add that whoever West LA area decides will take over as the SLO for the Palisades is, that I know the Palisades people will continue to support them as they did/do me. But also that the Palisades should hold that person to the very same high standard that I have set. The Pacific Palisades deserves no less of a standard to be adhered to.
Time will tell … be well!
Dog Park Update
The Palisadian-Post requested an update from the Pacific Palisades Dog Park Working Group following a submission to Two Cents in the July 29 edition seeking information.
Following up on your request for an update on our ever-evolving efforts to finally get a dog park in the Palisades! Here’s an update:
There is an ongoing effort between our Pacific Palisades Dog Park Working Group and CD11’s Councilmember Mike Bonin. Since he formed the committee (after making our project a campaign promise almost five years ago), we have hit many road blocks, including the replacement of five different field agents since forming the committee.
However, the biggest hurdle has been waiting for Mr. Bonin to simply approve the project and release the accumulated Measure A funds that are earmarked for our dog park project.
To date: We have the land locked in from Recreation and Parks. The location is near the base of Temescal Canyon where we will have 35,000 square feet for a fenced and divided large and small dog area, along with gating, water, benches and shade; as well as a donor wall.
RAP has set a cost estimate of $750,000 to develop this park. There is $751,000.05 sitting in the Measure A account shared by the Palisades and Brentwood. In 2020, Bonin released $250,000 of those funds to our project, but we need the full amount before we can go to the final step of attaining California Coastal Commission approval.
Since we don’t think it is responsible to start private fundraising without the CCC approval, we are waiting for Bonin to release the full available amount to the Palisades Dog Park project. We have been chasing our tails on this, and simply need Mike to give the project a green light and give the Palisades community what they really want.
Having said that … we are open to hearing from any big donor Palisadians that wish to help fund this project and move the dog park along. Your readers are also encouraged to contact Bonin directly to let him know that we want this project approved ASAP: email@example.com or 213-473-7011.
It’s time to get Snoopy out of the dog house and into the dog park!
Pacific Palisades Dog Park Working Group
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