The Los Angeles Police Department curfew task force at Venice beach arrested nearly 50 people Friday morning, many of whom were homeless. It marked the first time a curfew raid was also an outreach effort to help the homeless, while also attempting to curb recent spikes in crime and the number of transients camping on the beach after its midnight closing, LAPD officials told to LA Times. The curfew task force worked with teams of social workers, counselors and religious representatives in this raid.
Many of the homeless were arrested on warrants and felony violations. For the first time, the curfew task force worked with members of social services, councilors and religious representatives who informed the arrested about services, some of which included drug recovery programs.â€¨â€¨
“They handed out pamphlets of information on where to try [to] get shelter, gave them medical attention, gave them information to try and help them with being homeless,” said Sgt. Kevin Lowe, a day watch commander for the LAPD’s Pacific Division, told the LA Times. “A lot of them don’t take our advice, but at least we offer it.”
â€¨â€¨The cooperative effort between outreach and raid is an attempt to keep the transients from simply returning to the beach once they have been released. Instead, LAPD officers said they hope that the social service members, councilors and religious representatives who provided information and suggestions will be taken seriously and that the arrested won’t simply continue to cycle back to the beach.
Santa Monica Mirrorstaff@smmirror.com