Local Briefs

Sheriff on the Beach

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. will conduct enhanced patrols starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day at all L.A. County beaches from Playa Del Rey to Malibu.

County beaches such as Santa Monica are patrolled both by the Sheriff and the Santa Monica Police, who have overlapping jurisdiction.

Santa Monica’s population can increase by as much as 300,000 people on a holiday weekend, if the weather is nice. Most behave well, but a few do not.

The additional force should help secure the pier and the Venice Boardwalk, police say. Some sheriffs deputies will be on horseback; others will specialize in the homeless.

Homeless Man’s Nap Causes 5 Mile Backup on 405 Freeway

A homeless man decided to take a nap Thursday at 5 pm in West LA. The problem: He decided to take that nap on the ledge of a 405 freeway overpass at Florence Avenue. He caused a five mile back up that lasted 5 hours.

The CHP, Inglewood Police Department and the LA County Fire Dept. all sent units, who spent 5 hours trying to convince him to come down from the ledge over the freeway. People missed their flights at LAX, as the freeway was backed up into the Sepulveda pass.

Eventually, at 10 pm, the man came down from the freeway and police took him into temporary custody. They released him a couple hours later.

Traffic was back to normal by midnight Thursday.

4 Dead in Fall from Cliff

5.24.22: Four people fell off a Palos Verdes cliff above the ocean before dawn Monday, and a man was killed and two women were critically injured, authorities said.

The fourth person, a man who had minor injuries, managed to climb back up from the beach below and alert a passing officer at about 4:30 a.m., said Capt. Steve Barber of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

A 25-year-old man from Los Angeles died at the scene, Barber said. Two women were airlifted from the beach and each hospitalized in critical condition, he said.

TV news helicopters showed a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter hoisting one of the victims to a rescue vehicle at the top of the cliff.

Police were investigating the event as an accident, Barber said.

SMPD Recruiting Difficult

The Santa Monica Police Dept is reportedly about 50 officers short of their authorized strength of 220 sworn officers. Why is that?

“We’re having trouble finding people who can meet the physical requirements,” reported one officer I spoke to at Benny’s Tacos. We were both waiting for our dinners.

“We now allow people to take the written test online. We had 29 qualified applicants who past the test. So we flew them into Santa Monica to take the physical exam,” he said.

“Out of those 29, not one passed our physical exam.”

I asked him if the requirements were different for females than for males. He confirmed that they were, and said that was not the issue.

I asked him if the physical requirements might soon be changed, and he shrugged. — David Ganezer


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