Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Overdose in Palisades Park Shortly After the Lunch Hour Today, June 12

Tolerance and even encouragement of drug use in Santa Monica public parks can hardly help business during the summer tourist season

John Alle

Paramedics assess drug overdose victim

June 12, 2024 - During the lunch hour today, John Alle, business and property owner, witnessed paramedics dealing with an overdose situation in popular Palisades Park in Santa Monica. As EMTs attempted to help the victim, two individuals, apparently homeless, harrassed them in their efforts.

Palisades Park runs from the Santa Monica pier along Ocean Avenue all the way to the north end of Santa Monica. It is a major destination point for tourists with its clear views of the ocean and is used by residents for walking and picnics.

But Palisades Park is also a location where the Los County Department of Public Health distributes free needles to drug addicts in a program called "Harm Reduction." Public drug use is illegal, but arrests are no longer made since County District Attorney will not prosecute such low-level misdemeanors. Even without the ability to make an arrest, however, the presence of uniformed police officers tend to discourage open drug use and the crimes that often accompany it: theft, assault, and worse. Santa Monica City Council recently approved four additional officers for the police force, but the police chief has said he needs closer to twenty-five more.

John Alle

Another apparently drug-affected individual harasses the EMTs as they attempt to assist the victim

The drug use and accompanying anti-social behavior has accelerated in Santa Monica since the 2020 lockdowns, as can be noted by the most casual observer. There is now an average of one death a week among the homeless in Santa Monica. Meanwhile, schools are ending their semesters locally and all over the country, and families are deciding where to vacation. A midday overdose in the most visible park in the city may not be the best advertisement Santa Monica could make to attract visitors.

John Alle

Other homeless sleeping in the park, health condition unknown - and not inquired into by those who distribute needles


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