Monday, October 30, 2006

Transients Along the Freeway

As Co-Chair of SONC Public Safety, I've been challenged with solving a tricky problem: government inter-agency duties and boundaries. There is an elderly woman who lives next to the 101 freeway. A CalTrans landscaping crew came to her cul-de-sac and opened up the gate to do some work. Mistakenly, they left it open. The elderly woman lived with her living room window facing the encampment 15 feet away. Not exactly a fun situation, especially when they entered her garage one night.

Within no time, transients moved in. Soon after, a policing (I still don't know who) agency came in and arrested them. Within 24 hours, they were back. That's where I stepped in.

You see, since the 101 is property of the state, that means the California Highway Patrol is in charge here, not the LAPD like everyone thinks (in relation to this, the LA River is policed by the LA Sheriff's Department, not the LAPD). And unlike the LAPD, the CHP doesn't have a working relationship with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council.

That's going to change. I'm bringing out the CHP to the next Public Safety Committee Meeting to discuss the issue of transients and homeless along the freeways in Sherman Oaks. While the specific aforementioned situation has been taken care of (as of last Tuesday), the response time was just less than 2 months. This can be shortened and our relationship with the state can be strengthened.

Other reps from groups who I know are attending: Council District 5 and the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center

Wednesday, November 1st at 6:30 PM

VIVA Gallery
3261 Moorpark St
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

There is free parking in front on Moorpark, a small parking lot behind the building (access from alley), and street parking on Longridge (to the east of Fulton).

Photo: ghb624

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