By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
In response to ongoing news of the Los Angeles Police Department downsizing special units after a multi-million-dollar budget cut, the Pacific Palisades Community Council and Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness have urged the city to continue funding the community’s beach detail.
In an October 21 letter addressed to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mike Bonin, the Executive Committee of PPCC explained the significance of the LAPD Beach Detail—a two-officer team—and the ways it has helped control homeless encampments, prevent incidents of crime and keep the community safe.
“We’ve been informed that the Palisades Beach Detail may be reassigned elsewhere, but will this condition be permanent?” PPCC wrote. “Without robust enforcement by the LAPD Beach Detail, the volunteers of PPTFH will be hard-pressed to be effective in encouraging homeless people to take the offer of services and a transition into housing.”
The task force on homelessness has worked closely with the beach detail since 2016, PPTFH Co-Chairs Sharon Browning and Sharon Kilbride wrote.
“It’s community policing at its finest,” Kilbride said to the Palisadian-Post.
Together they have housed 132 previously homeless individuals, and worked to keep the bluffs, hillsides and coastline clear of tents or camps. There has been a 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,” according to a PPTFH letter dated October 26. “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.”
Bonin responded to PPCC and PPTFH’s concerns in a subsequent letter on October 27.
“Like you, I fully support the beach detail and support regular LAPD presence for Pacific Palisades,” Bonin wrote. “I agree the beach detail has been a great asset for the community. I will continue to advocate on behalf of the detail and Pacific Palisades with Police Chief Michel Moore and with other LAPD officials who make the decisions regarding deployment of LAPD personnel.”
State Assemblymember Richard Bloom also wrote a letter in support of PPCC and PPTFH’s efforts to keep the beach detail active to Bonin and Garcetti.
“As the assemblymember representing Pacific Palisades, I echo the sentiments of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and call for permanent funding for a year-round Palisades Beach Detail,” Bloom said. “The model of partnership between the PPTFH and the Palisades Beach Detail is an example of city resources put to effective use.”
PPCC also reported the LAPD Officer John “Rusty” Redican returned to duty early last week.
“Welcome back Rusty—and thanks to Officers Yi and Margin, who we are told have been invaluable in assisting PPTFH volunteers and outreach workers in their work for the past few months,” PPCC wrote.
Mayor Garcetti had yet to respond to PPTFH and PPCC as the Palisadian-Post went to print Tuesday evening.
LAPD West Division Commanding Officer Captain III Jonathan Tom told the Post there are no immediate plans to dismantle the beach detail.
“As the Commanding Officer of the West Los Angeles Area, I understand the value of the assignment and have no intention of removing them from the area,” he said.
Browning said the organizations have been vocal about their message and are just waiting for December, when the LAPD’s budget is formulated.
“We are cautiously optimistic that with the strong support of the community and our elected officials,” representatives from PPCC wrote in an email newsletter, “Pacific Palisades will be able to keep in place the LAPD officers who are so important to the safety of area residents, visitors and homeless individuals alike.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.