There were 105 homeless people in West Hollywood during the day and hours of the annual Los Angeles County homeless count in January 2017. However, as Capt. Sergio Aloma, head of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, noted at last week’s City Council Homeless Study Session, there were more than 300 arrests last year. The contrast between the number of arrests and the number of homeless people counted on single day reflects the transient nature of the city’s homeless population. In other words, people living on sidewalks rather than in apartments and houses tend to come and go.
Since the Homeless Study Session, Aloma and the Sheriff’s Station have conducted a more detailed analysis and determined that 295 homeless individuals were arrested last year, roughly twice the 303 arrested in 2015 and 2016 combined. Of those, 37 were repeat offenders, bringing the actual number of arrests to 332.
The arrest charges varied Aloma said in an email to WEHOville. Nearly two-thirds of the arrests were made on four charges: Possession of a controlled substance was the most common (90 arrests). That was followed charges of trespassing (61 arrests), possession of drug paraphernalia (33 arrests) and being drunk in public (24 arrests).