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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva Calls For Local State Of Emergency To Address Homeless Crisis

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says homelessness is out of control, so a local state of emergency should be declared to address it.

villanueva granada hills meeting
(credit: CBS)

At a public meeting in Granada Hills Thursday night, Villanueva blamed everyone from the governor to the Los Angeles City Council for the homeless crisis, claiming they have refused to enforce the law.

"People understand that when we lose control of our public space, when we fail to regulate our public space, we're surrendering it to anybody who shows up, in whatever condition they show up, and they're here, and they're going to do all the bad things that we're seeing in these photos," Villanueva said, gesturing to photos off camera. "Yup, that's cause we failed to regulate public space."

Villanueva said despite the billions that have been spent on homelessness, the problem has exploded. He is also calling on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to declare a local state of emergency.

Earlier this summer, Villanueva sent deputies out to Venice Beach – even though it is policed by the Los Angeles Police Department. Homeless advocates and city leaders have said in recent weeks that the sheriff and his department should leave outreach and housing to the professionals.

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