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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Why is this happening? Why is this happening here and not there?

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(Photo courtesy of Charley Swan.)
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(Photo courtesy of Charley Swan.)
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(Photo courtesy of Steve Sanders.)bulky

It is our beach, not theirs? They are breaking the law? I can’t take my kids to the beach. I am afraid of stepping on needles, poop, etc. This is illegal. Where is the enforcement?

“I do not see how someone has the ‘right’ to break all societal rules, do drugs in the street or beach, urinate and defecate in the street, shout and argue and fight at all hours of the night, strip bikes and break into cars (because it’s under $1000 it’s a “victimless crime”), store their belongings & build structures wherever the hell they please, etc,” stated one anonymous resident. “LA City council has stripped the police of all their power, and it’s has become absolute chaos out there. The tweekers will actually tell you that they ‘own the street’ and that sounds more like a choice to me than a bad set of circumstances.”

Mark Ryavec went further at a recent meeting and asked the police why Venice has encampments and not Will Rogers Beach.

The head of the LAPD Beach Detail, Lieutenant Michael Soliman, had reached out to those who had written to the Captain James Roberts and offered to meet with anyone who was available later that morning on the Boardwalk. In an impromptu gathering at Rose and the Boardwalk, about 15 residents responded and the Lieutenant and his partner spent about 45 minutes explaining the situation the Beach Detail faces along the beach. It was in that context that the Lieutenant challenged me to check if Will Rogers Beach was still free of tents and campers.

So, I drove the entire length of Will Rogers Beach along its parking lot. There were no tents nor encampments.

Then I stopped into the County Lifeguard Station and had a conversation with Lifeguard Specialist Scott Deboer, and later with Captain Robert Torres. Mr. Deboer informed me that indeed there had been a problem with campers and tents where West Channel Road intersects with the beach. He told me that it was cleared up with the establishment of protocol with the County Lifeguards, LAPD and Pacific Palisades Homeless Task Force.

Whenever a lifeguard sees a tent or an encampment, they introduce themselves, advice the campers that there is no camping, take a photograph, and tell the camper the photograph will be sent to the LAPD. The Homeless Task Force is contacted and given a chance to offer counseling and services to the person(s).

If they are still there the next day, this is communicated to LAPD Officer Rusty Redican who will show up and ride out to the encampment on an LAPD All Terrain Vehicle that is stored at the lifeguard station. Officer Redican will advise the camper that they must leave and if they do not they are eventually forcibly removed along with their belongings.

There was no question in the minds of Mr. Deboer and Captain Torres that neither camping nor tents are allowed on Will Rogers Beach and that the LAPD can and will enforce against their presence.

My contention was and is: if the LAPD, working alongside the County Lifeguards, can keep Will Rogers Beach completely clear of tents and encampments, they can do it here, too.

The questions remain: Why is this happening? Why is this happening here and not there?

Comments (4)

  1. Some Guy

    Remember:

    1) If a Councilman focuses/isolates the anger to only Venice (one town of many in his district), then he still has the defense/protection of a majority of the other towns in his district. If he allowed the B.S. to spread all over his district, his political career would soon be finished.

    2) The LA CIty Council decided to put 1+ shelter in each district to avoid highlighting the action of any one Councilman. And if each Councilman is smart, he’ll focus the homeless/criminals into a small subset of his district so as not to piss off the majority of his electorate.

  2. Venice

    This happens cuz the police are afraid to do their job.

    • TheV.

      I disagree that LAPD is afraid– each and every Officer is armed to the teeth with guns, tasers, sprays, sticks, handcuffs etc. Seems more like classic LAPD laziness to me: it’s much easier and more fun to heckle some kid about smoking pot at the skate park than to address what actually matters as public endangerment.

      Bonin’s free showers, 24/7 toilets, free storage… I wouldn’t be surprised if DTLA was giving out free bus tokens to homeless and druggies with clear directions how to take the 733 straight to VB. I say VB starts shippin’ ’em all to DTLA, have DTLA sort this ****show out by filling City Hall’s pretty front lawns with encampments.

      I’m seriously worried that our beloved Lifeguards are expected to become involved in confronting tent dwellers– Lifeguards are unarmed and vulnerable, and having to approach some meth-head about moving his trash heap is downright dangerous.

      • Some Guy

        That’s because the owners and taxpayers in the Palisades (near WRSB) do not tolerate any B.S. from squatters or from politicians. LAPD officers are simply following orders from the Mayor, the LA City Council, LA City Attorney, and your Councilman.

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