The Los Angeles Police Department will have an increased presence in the Venice Beach area as part of a three-month pilot program in response to safety concerns after several high-profile crimes in the area, officials said.
Officers will patrol the area on bicycles, which are much easier to maneuver through the crowded boardwalk area than a motor vehicle, said Officer Fernando Alvarez. The bike detail, which will have seven-day coverage, has been part of community policing efforts in the area for more than a decade, according to City Councilman Mike Bonin’s office.
Bike details allow officers to be visible on the boardwalk without disrupting crowds, Pacific Division Captain Brian Johnson said in a statement.
“It is great way to be part of the community and nimble with emergency response,” Johnson said.
On weekends, Metro officers on horseback will augment the regular beach detail, Bonin’s office said.
“This is a big boost for quality of life in Venice Beach neighborhoods,” Bonin said in a statement. “I applaud LAPD for its strong commitment to community policing, and for working to improve its already strong partnership with the people of Venice.”
The patrols come in response to several high profile crimes and at the request of area business owners, Alvarez said.
In December, a homeless man was beaten with a folding chair and a pipe in the 1300 block of Ocean Front Walk. The incident was caught on camera, and a reputed gang member has been charged with the attack.
In August, a vehicle rammed past a barrier post onto the Venice Boardwalk beachfront pedestrian walkway, killing one woman and injuring 17 others as it careened for at least half a mile. The man accused in the attack, Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.