July 29, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Deputies Visit Venice Boardwalk Following Sheriff Villanueva’s Plan to Clear Encampments by July 4th

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team visits Venice Boardwalk Tuesday

By Sam Catanzaro

Deputies were on the Venice Beach Boardwalk Tuesday doing outreach with homeless individuals as part of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s plan to clear encampments there by Fourth of July. 

On Monday Villanueva visited the Boardwalk to announce a plan to clear encampments there by Fourth of July. In his remarks, Villanueva took aim at City of Los Angeles officials, blaming them for the prevalence of encampments in the area. 

“The city of LA created this problem. This is a failure of leadership from the very top, all the way down. If I go there to the end of Santa Monica, at the end of Santa Monica I don’t see any tents. There’s no stronger argument than the division between the two sides,” told a group of reporters. “I want to see the boardwalk full of tourists. I want to see the boardwalk full of all the wonderful people here that were selling their crafts that Venice was known for. That is what it needs to be. This is not Venice.”

A day after Villanueva made these remarks, LASD’s Homeless Outreach Services Team came to the Venice Boardwalk to start the process of clearing encampments and connecting homeless individuals to housing. LASD Lieutenant Geff Deedrick, the head of HOST, told NBC 4 that cleaning Boardwalk encampments by July 4 is a goal, but not a deadline, and that it could take much longer. 

The Boardwalk falls under Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) jurisdiction, but the Department said in a statement to the Associated Press that it supports Villanueva’s plans and is willing to work with partner agencies to improve safety and support for the homeless community. 

“The Los Angeles Police Department is committed to working with all of our public safety partner agencies and elected officials to improve the safety of our communities,” the LAPD said ”Including efforts to increase outreach and provide needed housing and supportive services in the Venice Beach community and elsewhere.”

In addition, NBC reported that LAPD Chief Michel Moore wants LA City Council to end a moratorium that prevents his officers from enforcing city no-camping laws. 

The Venice Boardwalk last month. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

Villanueva’s Monday announcement was met with sharp criticism from LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents Venice.

“Villanueva is exploiting Venice to spread the nefarious lie, amplified by Tucker Carlson, John & Ken, and the LAPPL [Los Angeles Police Protective League], that crime and homelessness are caused by progressives and that the only fix is tougher laws, longer sentences, and more prisons,” Bonin wrote as part of a 15-post Twitter thread Tuesday morning. “He didn’t call to offer services or housing, which would help. He went on a PR blitz, promising his own notorious brand of justice. To anyone familiar with Villanueva and LASD, that’s incredibly ominous.” 

Villanueva’s visit came on the same day that a woman wielding a knife got within feet of LA mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino at a Venice Beach rally Monday morning. The incident occurred just moments after Buscaino finished delivering his remarks calling for “common sense, not nonsense” when it comes to dealing with homeless encampments in Los Angeles. 

LAPD officers escorted Buscaino to safety and detained the woman, who was later released from police custody. According to the LAPD, the subject is 19-year-old Alais Smith.

“The elements of an Assault with a Deadly Weapon were not met. Smith was issued an RFC (Release from Custody) Citation. Smith’s court date is 10/4/2021,” LAPD Officer Cervantes wrote in an email statement.

Buscaino and Bonin also have been involved in a political dispute recently. Last month, Buscaino was the only member of Los Angeles City Council to vote against a controversial Bonin proposal to look into bringing new homeless shelters to an array of Westside public spaces. Following Buscaino’s visit to the Boardwalk Monday, Bonin took to Twitter taking aim at his colleague.

“Look who visited Venice today, joining with people who have sued, appealed or protested to stop housing and shelter on the Westside. Since he is opposing even studying housing here, did anyone catch if he said how many unhoused people from Venice we can house in San Pedro?” Bonin wrote.

Related Posts

Police Investigating Fatal Crash, Shooting in Venice

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Details remain murky surrounding Tuesday morning incident  By Sam Catanzaro Police are investigating a fatal car crash and possible related...

Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects: YO! Venice Show – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects *...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Venice Bridge Home Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs (UPDATED)

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

63-Year-Old Man Killed in Westchester Tent Fire

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

LAFD investigating Wednesday night incident  By Sam Catanzaro A 63-year-old man died in a tent following a fire in Westchester...

Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing: YO! Venice Show – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing * LAFD...

Unidentified Skeletal Remains Found in Ballona Wetlands Amid Search for Missing Person

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Authorities make discovery amid search for Kolby Story this past Friday  By Sam Catanzarto Unidentified skeletal remains were found Friday...

Beach Closures Lifted After Sunday Discharge of 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage From Hyperion Plant

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Petition for Recall of Councilmember Bonin Approved for Circulation

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City...

Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk: YO! Venice Show – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk * Pedestrian...

Hyperion Spill Discharges 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage Into Santa Monica Bay

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Sunday night spillage occurs 1-mile offshore from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant By Sam Catanzaro 17 million gallons of raw sewage...

IPO Cosmetics Launches The World’s First 4Step Facial Kit

July 10, 2021

July 10, 2021

It’s Perfect On Introduces a New, Convenient, Portable and Eco-Friendly Skincare Option By Staff Writer What if you could get...

Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series Underway

July 9, 2021

July 9, 2021

Gather with your family and friends to watch movies by the sea in Marina del Rey. Marina Drive-In Movie Nights,...