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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Betz Upset with Tenters and Vagrants in Park and LAPD Does Not Move Them

John Betz is once again beset by the flagrant oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department to keep the Westminster Park/Westminster Senior Center free of “tenters” and vagrants and also the area bordering Westminster Elementary School.

The law states that one cannot be in the park after closing, cannot sleep in the park, cannot erect a tent in the park. Yet.

Councilman Gilbert Gedillo of the LA City Homeless and Poverty, made the motion that Homeless encampments adjacent to school facilities continue to interfere with the City’s mission of safe and clean routes to schools. State of California Penal Code Section 626 defines ‘Safe School Zones’ as property within 1500 feet of a school. Yet.


“For the past two weeks two “traveling” lads, who I would estimate are about 28 years old, are living out of their car, and have been sleeping in a tent in the Westminster Park,” wrote John Betz. “And it is on Main Street right across the streets from the Westminster School. It is easy to find – right under the “School Crosswalk” sign meant to keep the school children safe while crossing the street (oh, the irony).

“I have called LAPD about 5 or 6 times to report this, usually at about 4 am when enforcement should be easy because no one is supposed to be sleeping in the park at night, but no results–apparently nothing meaningful has been done.

“I don’t understand why our community has to put up with this. The winter shelter is open and there were plenty of beds available last night, 17 Dec, (80 open beds at the shelter and 21 openings at S.H.A.R.E.). So why is this going on for so long? Why will the police not do anything? It is illegal to camp in the park and these people have a place to go. And now, because of LAPD inaction the problem in our park is growing, as it always does when the City turns a blind eye.


“This is what one mom found recently walking her child to school. The fence is the elementary school fence.”

Comments (10)

  1. Anonymous

    This is also happening at Del Rey and Washington. I have written Bonin’s office and LAPD several times about the encampment. Nothing is done. EVER

  2. Anonymous

    BONIN must go! Let’s consider Ryavec, he can turn this disastrous situation around before we lose our entire residential community to meth heads and heroin addicts.

  3. john


  4. Bruce

    This is also happening at the Vera Davis Center that the city operates at the corner of California and Electric. Typically, there are 3 to 6 “travellers” sleeping on the front lawn each night with loads of rubbish strewn about. There doesn’t appear to be any effort on the part of the city to keep it clean.

    This issue has reported multiple times on MyLA311 but the requests are cancelled and no action is taken. It is a shame the city allows their property to be turned into public pigstys with no regard for the neighbors.

  5. James

    I was at the dog park today. The tents are gone but a lot of trash is left behind in place of the tents.

  6. reta

    John has received an email from the new captain of LAPD, Pacific Division, Robert Long. Sounds like Long is a working police Captain.

    Hi John, just wanted to reach out and let you know that we will be utilizing our patrol resources as well as the senior lead office and other resources to address the encampment issue

    Sergeant Lowe was included on your email and he will address the issue as the head of the senior lead office. Sgt Fox is the head of the Bureau wide Homeless Outreach team and is tasked with dealing with encampments. I forwarded Sgt Fox the information and photos on the encampments

  7. reta

    This is inputted for Stewart Oscars


    I hope you are getting some action from our City Officials.

    Since this is a continually recurring problem, I wonder why? Who makes the decision to allow the condition to begin and then grow? Are parks in other parts of the city treated this way?

    It looks like the hierarchy of power is limited: Garcetti, Bonin, Feuer, Beck and their staffs. Do any of them respond to your request for action with an explanation?


  8. Jack Herman

    It is very clear from these photos that these tents are pitched on the sidewalk and not in the park which is on the other side of the fence.

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