First Responder Engagement Committee News
BYLINE: Sharon Kilbride, Chair, First Responder Engagement Committee
In 2019, PPTFH received a request from our beach patrol officers Rusty Redican and Jimmy Soliman for an off-road, all-access vehicle (known as the Mule) to patrol brushy hillsides and beaches of Pacific Palisades. PPTFH contacted Kevyn Wynn who graciously donated most of the funds with the rest being donated by her neighbors, PPTFH volunteers and local HOAs. The generosity and support of our community made the purchase of the Mule possible.
On July 1, the vehicle was delivered to the LAPD beach patrol, and is currently housed at the Lifeguard Headquarters. Several times a week, our beach patrol uses the Mule to engage the homeless found camping in our hillsides as well as along our entire coast. The Mule also allows LAPD to easily transport our outreach workers, volunteers and occasional medical staff to these areas. Of most importance, our community’s safety has been improved by the Mule. It provides police visibility and allows patrolling in posted restricted fire areas which is key to preventing potential fires.
In July, our First Responder volunteers cleaned up 32 abandoned camps along our beaches and bluffs. The number of encampments has increased as well as the amount of trash left behind. We also found a camp along the lower Via Bluffs service road where a mentally ill homeless man camps, starts spot fires and then leaves before authorities arrive. On July 1 and August 14, LAFD put out fires in this camp area. LAPD patrols this camp weekly and continues to look for the individual. PPTFH volunteers also watch this area and have cleaned this camp on four different occasions. LAFD, LAPD and councilman Mike Bonin have all been notified about this fire bug’s activity.
PPTFH is thankful for the continued support from West LA LAPD, Captain Tom and our amazing beach patrol who keep our hillsides and beaches safe and direct those in need to our outreach team from the People Concern.Read Full Newsletter