Sheriff Alex Villanueva is tackling the homelessness issue in Los Angeles by deploying a team of deputies to the Venice boardwalk.
Villanueva hasn't been happy with the way city officials have been handling this mounting crisis. According to LA Times Villanueva is being careful not to malign the Los Angeles Police Department, which patrols Venice, the sheriff said city leaders have hamstrung the LAPD from taking a more aggressive posture when dealing with homeless people.
"Public space belongs to the entire public, not to one individual. And that is the fundamental responsibility of government. That's the fundamental failure of the Board of Supervisors, L.A. City Council and the mayor of L.A.- they have refused to regulate public space and that is why the problem is growing exponentially year after year." said Villanueva
Deputies and mental health clinicians will spend the next few weeks assessing the needs of people living in sprawling encampments along the beachfront promenade and helping to get them services.
The efforts raised questions about whether Villanueva is overstepping his authority. John and Ken have an opinion. Take a listen
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