Sheriff’s Deputies to Meet with Homeless in Venice

VENICE—Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies will be on Venice Beach on June 8—technically, in the Los Angele Police Department’s (LAPD) jurisdiction – talking with the homeless and determining what they are doing to move from being homeless to having a place to stay.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva made the announcement June 7, saying the homelessness crisis within Los Angeles city limits prompted him to take action—though he declined to put the LAPD on the spot.

Venice falls under the jurisdiction of the LAPD, and typically the sheriff’s department honors those boundaries.

“I’m not going to blame LAPD whatsoever,” Villanueva told CBS2. “I think they can definitely do the job. They’re more than capable, have good leadership. However, if they’re hamstrung by politicians that don’t want them to do their job, well then they’re left in a very, very bad situation.”

Villanueva told the station that Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Mike Bonin have restricted the ability of Los Angeles police to do their job.

The sheriff visited Venice Boardwalk on June 7 to “view the failures of local politicians in regard to the homeless crisis,” he said on Twitter.

Villanueva added the department’s “Homeless Outreach Services Team will be assessing Venice in order to triage the crisis and develop an action plan to compassionately offer services while employing common sense in the regulation of public space within Los Angeles County.”

The sheriff told ABC7 his goal is to clear the boardwalk of homeless encampments by July 4.

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