LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department met with concerned residents to talk about homelessness in West Los Angeles.
Many of the residents had the same question on the top of their minds: what must be done to ensure the encampments don't return?
"Outreach and intervention needs to begin early as people are settling into communities on the street," said LAPD assistant chief Beatrice Grimala. "We cannot paint the homeless population with a broad brush."
Grimala and Sheriff Alex Villanueva addressed a crowd of West Los Angeles residents talking about the growing encampments in the area and how to prevent their resurgence
"What will prevent individuals from moving to one encampment in one part of the city to another," said one resident.
Many residents praised LASD for the major clean-up on Monday, that cleared the homeless encampment in front of the Veteran Affairs in Brentwood, dubbed "Veteran's Row." Both agencies agreed that more needed to be done, but also agreed that their hands were tied.
"We will be maintaining it and we need the resources from the supervisor's office and that's what we're working through today," said LASD Lt. Geoffrey Deedrick.
Villanueva placed the blame on L.A. County supervisors and L.A. City Council members who did not attend the meeting and field questions from concerned residents.
The agencies also addressed the encampments at Westchester Park. Officials said that plans are in place to rehouse those living in the park and to thoroughly clean the area. They hope to finish the cleaning before Christmas on Dec. 12.
According to the L.A. Department of recreation and parks, city crews also plan to refurbish the various fields and tennis courts as part of the clean-up.
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