How Long Will the City of Santa Monica Tolerate a Homeless Encampment in Palisades Park
As vagrants set fire to the choicest piece of land in the country's 4th most expensive zip code, some say enough is enough.
April 14, 2023
Good morning Police Chief Batista and Fire Chief Alvarez:
I wanted to call your attention to an illegal encampment on the Palisades Park bluffs (just south of Montana near the 500 block of Ocean Avenue) on the precipice of the existing walls facing PCH.
The president of the Pacific Palisades Homeless Outreach alerted me on April 6th. I drove by on PCH, then walked down partially from Palisades Park. There were two people inside; one stepped out smoking. I called 911 and the Dispatcher said since there was not an ongoing fire, she would have the Santa Monica Police check it out.
On my way in and out of Santa Monica for the next 48 hours the encampment remained. A dangerous situation for the people living inside the tent on a precipice 40 or 50 feet above PCH, a danger to people in Palisades Park, residents on Ocean Avenue, and motorists on PCH.
I called again this last Saturday (4-8-2023) at 5:14 pm. My call with the 911 Dispatcher lasted 1 minute, 51 seconds. Please listen. The Dispatcher told me she would forward the report to the Police, as there was no ongoing fire. I told the Dispatcher the tent encampment was in a severe overgrown brush area, a potential fire threat. I asked the Dispatcher if someone from the Department would confirm the message was received, and what the outcome was. My request to the Dispatcher went unanswered.
As of this writing the encampment is still in place. Please see the link below. I have to remind you that on a Monday afternoon, last June 13, 2022 in approximately the same place, a fire did break out. Palisades Park was evacuated, some residents on Ocean Avenue were advised to evacuate, and PCH was shut down for 3 hours. And last year there were at least 3 other fires directly below Palisades Park.
The current encampment is illegal. Why has it remained for a week? Smoking is prohibited in parks and in brush areas. There are even signs posted and additional smaller signs advising visitors to stay off "native plant areas". But this remains....
Where and why is there a breakdown in communications among our Police, Fire and Fire Prevention? Where is the Dispatcher located?
Would both of you please listen to my most recent call from this last Saturday 4/8/2023 at 5:14 pm?
This type of unresponsiveness is exactly why residents are not calling to report crime. We all know that unfortunately crime is rising. Police who respond to incidents where the perpetrator or victim has left are not reporting such as part of the statistics.
Link showing Illegal encampment - https://photos.app.goo.gl/
Links showing fire in almost the same place last July 13, 2022 - https://photos.app.goo.gl/ryDCPrKJhQenuzci8
Thanks for all you both do to protect and inform us in Santa Monica. Looking forward to seeing the encampment removed asap, and an update.
Regards, John Alle