July-August 2021 Newsletter

WLA LAPD Offroad Team
Local Agencies Partner with PPTFH on Hillside Fire Prevention Task force

BYLINE:Sharon Kilbride, Chair, First Responder Committee

On June 1, 2021, a taskforce operation led by WLA LAPD commanding officer Jonathan Tom was prompted by recent fires. Captain Tom enlisted the help of PPTFH First Responder volunteers (Bruce Schwartz, Helga Jessen, Dede Vlietstra, Sharon Kilbride), LA Park Rangers, MCRA (Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority), California State Park Rangers, LAPD Valley Traffic off-road motor unit, LAPD homeless coordinator, two outreach workers fromThe People Concern and two nurses. The command post was staged in the parking lot near lifeguard headquarters. It was an impressive turnout. All parties were able to network at the meeting prior to checking the hillsides for activity. The success of the operation was significantly enhanced by PPTFH’s knowledge of encampment locations.

Our dedicated LAPD beach patrol officers Margin and Yi worked with PPTFH, mapping out the hillsides surrounding the Palisades and dividing them into four quadrants. Each quadrant was then patrolled by a group, which had been supplied with maps, locations, and photos of encampment hotspots, and information on known arson suspects. The results from the hillside operation were two misdemeanor citations (camping in a restricted fire area and open container of alcohol) and nine abandoned camps being cleaned up. The two individuals cited were offered Project Roomkey.

Throughout this summer, a team of 4 beach patrol officers will be canvassing the hillsides for unhoused individuals and illegal campsites. The beach patrol will offer services to appropriate persons and direct them to our Outreach Team for services.

In the future, due to its huge success, this collaborative operation will occur twice a year to ensure the safety of our community from the threat of fire danger. Our local community can maintain its safety by the following: (1) call911 to report anyone in a posted restricted fire area in our hillside areas; (2) report illegal encampments by emailing the beach patrol. Visit our website pptfh.org and located under OUR RESOURCES are contact details; and (3) email PacpaliHTF@gmail.com to report any homeless help and individuals in need of helpand, if possible, include a photo and location.

It’s going to be a hot, dry, and fire-prone summer, so if you see something say something!

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