2017 Homeless Arrests in WeHo Were Twice That of 2016 and 2015 Combined

The number of homeless people arrested by West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station deputies last year was more than twice that of the previous two years combined.

Sheriff’s Lt. Edward Ramirez, head of the station’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving team, known as COPPS, told the City Council last night that there were 320 homeless individuals arrested in 2017 with 188 of those arrests occurring in the last six months. By comparison, a total of 303 homeless individuals were arrested in 2015 and 2016 combined.

Homeless people being escorted from 1207 N. Detroit St. by Sheriff’s deputies.

That data was part of a presentation by Ramirez and Capt. Sergio Aloma, who heads the station, on what the Sheriff’s Station is doing about the homeless issue.

Ramirez said that since November the Homeless Outreach Services Team, which consists of deputies as well as health and human services specialists, has reached out five times to 140 homeless people in West Hollywood. Of those, three accepted offers to take them to housing, three were taken somewhere for treatment of drug or alcohol abuse and 55 sought various other services.

“Over the past year or so, the homeless population in the city has created increased public safety concerns for residents and visitors,” Ramirez told the Council. “Incidents of assault, battery, residential burglaries, vehicle burglaries, theft and vandalism committed by the homeless has been on a steady rise. There have been numerous instances where visitors and residents have been victims of aggressive panhandling, and instances of laying or blocking a public walkway and obstructing entrances to homes and businesses have also increased.

“Furthermore, we have received an increased amount of calls for service where the homeless population has simply ‘moved into’ homes slated for demolition or remodel. These situations required the need to properly step up law enforcement efforts and start to enforce all quality of life violations and codes, as well as applicable state laws.”

Officers are unable to legally force anyone to accept services they offer. At a community meeting on homelessness organized by City Councilmember Lauren Meister last month, Lt. Geoffrey Deedrick, head of Sheriff’s Department’s Homeless Outreach Services Team said it takes patience and persistence to convince those with mental health or substance abuse issues to accept help.

Ramirez said Sheriff’s deputies in WeHo made 42 misdemeanor “quality of life” arrests since November for violations of park hours, vandalism, loitering, public drunkenness, trespassing and block a sidewalk or business entrance. All of those arrested also were offered access to services through the Homeless Outreach Team.

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Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
4 years ago

Romaine: Thank you for your response – I’m not sure how significant the outcomes would be but all seem reasonable and could not make the situation any worse. (I am just seeing it now)

Romaine
Romaine
4 years ago

Josh Kurpies: *I would fund the nonprofits that not only assist homeless shelters but also reach the society undercurrents that causes homelessness. *I would also add dollars to the Weho Sheriff Department so that they were better trained and prepared to deal with the amount of homeless we now have on the streets so that our residents feel safe walking the streets. *Also, I would designate funds to train future Weho sherrifs how to respond to resident complaints about aggressive homeless people on their property. (You can read my earlier post below which states the reaction I received from the… Read more »

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
4 years ago

Woody McBreairty: Why wouldn’t you have called the sheriff’s? I’m not suggesting by doing so your morning coffee would have been any more pleasant, but if you were fearful enough to leave, why would you not feel the need to call the sheriff’s? What if that person suddenly became violent and hurt or even killed someone five minute later? I can guarantee the sheriff’s will never come if they don’t even know what’s happening. Romaine: The WH Council and Sheriff’s caused/increased homelessness? Seriously? Btw, what are your solutions? Tell us what you’d do with $100,000, $1,000,000 or $100,000,000 to solve… Read more »

The Residents Matter
The Residents Matter
4 years ago

When the budget comes up for review in February, let’s take a good look at the funding for the Sheriff’s Department. They are, by admission of some of their own, understaffed because there is no budget for more deputies. The ones in place are stretched between too many responsibilities which eliminates attention to recurring problems and follow through. With understaffing and no clear plan to address homelessness it becomes an endless cycle which will continue to affect the residents and tourists. Should a tourist be injured by a homeless person its entirely possible that the city could be sued. For… Read more »

kab1200
kab1200
4 years ago

I agree totally with Romaine. Where is our sense of humanity, I think you are way off base. Did you even read the story? There are tons of services for the homeless. I think there is plenty of money in this city for multiple interests. It’s not an either/or situation.

Ron
Ron
4 years ago

My experience with the sheriffs has been horrible. They would rather shoot and kill assault victims on Palm ave than protect us against the aggressive homeless. Why can’t we have our own police department?

AM
AM
4 years ago

I know the coffee place Woody is talking about, the patios often looks like a homeless encampment & I’m sure this keeps people away. And walking on SMBlvd can be scary. When you’re aggressively approached by one of these homeless people, you have no way of knowing if they’re going to be physically violent & such an experience can be very upsetting for a long time after. I also agree that something can & could be done about it if we had a stronger enforcement policies. It just keeps getting worse & more dangerous.

Romaine
Romaine
4 years ago

Congratulations to the Weho City Council and Weho Sheriff Department. They have successfully turned what was once a fun and relatively safe city into an overcrowded, homeless haven while turning those who have lived here (and paid taxes here) into afterthoughts. Each commenter here has said everything I have seen happen in this city over the past 15 years. The homeless get more consideration than the residents who are paying rent or mortgages to live here. Every day I count at least 6 homeless people along my walk from Havenhurst/SMB to 24 Hour Fitness. And let’s not even talk about… Read more »

Where is our sense of humanity?
Where is our sense of humanity?
4 years ago

$700,000. for dog parks $0. for the homeless.
Just kick the can down the road.
The point is “human beings” not “dog pets”. Absurd.
Gourmet pet food stores. More absurd.
Beyond misguided and irresponsible.
Lack of Humanity.

JJ
JJ
4 years ago

Our tax money should be going to mental and substance abuse facilities and when the Sheriffs encounter a person that is causing a disturbance, they should be evaluated and if found to have mental issues or they’re on something, they should be placed in a facility where they can get the help they need to get their life back on track.
Obviously letting them roam the streets is doing nothing for them and destroying everyone else’s quality of life. And we keep paying more in taxes and the problem is just getting worse and worse.

JF
JF
4 years ago

Not surprised AT ALL. The number of incidents our our neighborhood alone has risen dramatically over the last couple of years. We have homeless coming up into people’s driveways. My neighbor had one sleeping in his yard. They are constantly camped out behind the Planned Parenthood building and they urinate and leave trash and leave empty shopping carts which then get filled with trash. One large contributing factor is the Pavilions Recycle Center. There is not another around for 5 miles and it draws the homeless from all over. Get that closed and the number of homeless in and around… Read more »

Woody McBreairty
Woody McBreairty
4 years ago

This is interesting considering an experience I had while sitting outside at a nearby coffee place last Sunday a.m. There was a huge ranting, raving, & apparently very disturbed man screaming & shouting at everyone who walked & drove by, approaching & screaming through the windows of cars. His baggage was stashed against the building. He suddenly verbally attacked a coffee house employee who was sitting outside, making very loud screaming & threatening gestures. The employee picked up his coffee & went back inside. The man seemed to be unhappy with what he called “foreigners who took his job”, then… Read more »

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