PPTFH Volunteer Response Team Assists LAPD Multi-Agency Task Force Event
BYLINE: Sharon Kilbride
Chair, Volunteer Response Team
WLA LAPD Commanding Officer Jonathan Tom and Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin hosted the second Multi-Agency Task Force Event with a Command Post set up at Will Rogers Beach at 7:00 am on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The Multi-Agency Task Force was a collaboration of agencies meeting and sharing contacts with an all hands-on-deck kind of feeling. LAPD Officers, PPTFH Volunteers, the Outreach Team from The People Concern all participated, along with representatives from LAFD, Highway Patrol, State Parks & Recreation, and Parks Rangers.
The group of 40 individuals were given assignments to check all high-risk fire areas where encampments have been a problem in the past. In 2016, over 100 pre-existing hillside camps were found by PPTFH, which then took over 2 years to clean up and house most of the individuals having been encamped there over many years. The job now is to ensure that these hillsides and bluffs remain camp free and a reduced fire threat to the nearby communities. This happens with the constant monitoring of the LAPD beach detail and the Volunteer Response Team. Their efforts not only protect these communities but also remove the homeless campers from such dangers as rattlesnakes and wild animals.
Not surprisingly then, the assigned teams returned after a few hours finding no active hillside camps. Six abandoned camps were cleaned up, one individual was cited for smoking in a high-risk fire zone, and one individual was directed to outreach services.
This Multi-Agency Event gives us all a baseline of safety about our hillside areas. The next event will be scheduled for September 2022. Kudos to everyone who participated, and we will be back again in September!READ FULL NEWSLETTER