Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies swept through the wash of the Santa Clara River recently as part of an effort to police areas frequented by the Santa Clarita Valley’s homeless population.
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The effort was aimed at directing the homeless population toward available services and addressing to concerns about illegal activity in that area, where there tends to be a higher prevalence of the homeless, officials said.
On Thursday, during daytime hours, a collaborative law enforcement team led by Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, Bureau deputies worked collectively to police the riverbed environment throughout the area northwest of the Valencia Boulevard and Bouquet Canyon Road Intersection.
The operation took place three days after homeless officials identified the temporary homeless shelter on Drayton Street as the best spot for a year-round shelter in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“Local citizens, public service providers, business owners and law enforcement have expressed concern regarding increased criminal activity in the transient encampments, located in the area near Bouquet Creek and Valencia Boulevard in Santa Clarita,” according to a Nixle release issued by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials.
The transient population in the river bed area has been an ongoing concern for an extended period of time, officials stated. (Click here to sign up for a Nixle.)
For the past several months, numerous agencies, including the Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Veteran’s Affairs, Volunteers of America and Behavioral Health Services, were brought together in an attempt to aid the homeless in the transition out of homelessness.
These agencies have joined together in an effort to mitigate these quality-of-life issues for all parties involved.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s COPS Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Santa Clarita Valley Station, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), and other social services personnel have conducted patrol checks of these areas over the last several months.
During these checks, LASD and LAHSA personnel found that the area is inhabited by transients who use the area as living space.
These areas are filled with trash, debris, human waste and personal property.
Numerous homeless were contacted and offered housing, medical treatment and substance abuse assistance to aid in the transition out of homelessness, officials said.
Law enforcement personnel worked to enforce any applicable sections of the law that were being violated. Numerous violators were cited and will be required to appear in court.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be working in conjunction with the agencies responsible for sanitation of the area, in which enforcement is focused on, in order to facilitate a punctual cleanup, officials said.
Law enforcement will continue to address and enforce any violations of the law in these riverbed areas in future operations and patrols.
A shelter official said the transitioning of the current spot to year-round status a ways to go, noting approvals had yet to be granted from Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County officials.
“It’s far from a done deal,” said Tim Davis, executive director for Bridge to Home, which runs the shelter, regarding a permanent home for the Santa Clarita Valley’s homeless population. “We’re four or five steps away, but we’re on that path.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News