Although it's not finalized, the Pacific Palisades Parks Advisory Board learned Wednesday night that a city plan to eliminate the Office of Public Safety (OPS) may result in more (LAPD) officers patrolling the local parks.
The board sought an update on park security, the current roles of various agencies and emergency response times at its quarterly meeting.
OPS is charged with handling calls from residents when problems occur in the parks. But the city's budgetary problems are forcing changes in park security.
"It's in limbo right now," said Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore of the West LAPD Division. "Right now your best bet is to call LAPD and have them respond to any problems at the park."
Secretary Jennifer Malaret said the concern about park security stems from an incident at about a month ago when there was a report that authorities didn't respond quickly to a transient who may have been in danger.
Moore said the dispatchers, who operate within LAPD, can forward any calls about security problems in the parks to police officers.
"It’s my understanding that we’re taking over at this point," Moore added. "It's not in writing yet, but I've heard that all the [Department] of General Services people are being taken offline."
OPS had been a branch of the Department of General Services.
Board Chairman Mike Skinner asked if the same number of public safety personnel would be patrolling Pacific Palisades.
"Some will be absorbed into LAPD," Moore said. "Some are being assigned to security details to different facilities in the city with posted security guards."
Moore said police expect to see an increase in officers patrolling West L.A. and Pacific Palisades. Currently, he said two officers work two separate 12-hour shifts covering the local area, with a gap in transition. However, mid-watch cars not necessarily assigned exclusively to Palisades pick up the slack during watch changes.
Moore told Skinner there are five LAPD officers who patrol Palisades per day, including himself, primarily in the 90272 zip code area. Others patrol east of Allenford Avenue, the upper Riviera community and Santa Monica Canyon. Sometimes the Brentwood patrol car is part of the mid-watch shift, he noted.
Signs ordered for off-leash dogs
Senior Recreation Director Erich Haas ordered 20 signs for the local parks, reminding dog walkers to keep their canines on leashes. He said OPS has come out recently and ticketed people, although he was unsure of the total number who were tagged.