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Don't blame Culver City for L.A.'s inability to deal with homelessness

Don't blame Culver City for L.A.'s inability to deal with homelessness
Top photo, tents line the north side of Venice Boulevard under the 405 Freeway overpass, in the city of Los Angeles. Across the street in Culver City, bottom photo, there are no tents. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As the former mayor of Culver City, I’m disappointed in Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s assertion that communities near Los Angeles are not doing their fair share to combat homelessness.

Police in Culver City are constantly reaching out to homeless people. Contracted mental health experts regularly assist these individuals to make sure they are OK and have the services they are entitled to. If during that process they see any illegal activity taking place, police cite and possibly arrest the offender.

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The encampment under the 405 Freeway on Venice Boulevard, which straddles the L.A.-Culver City municipal border, has been the scene of numerous violent crimes. The Los Angeles Police Department does not check in with the homeless people living there nearly as often as Culver City police do.

If I was a homeless person inclined to do drugs and commit crimes, I would feel safer in Los Angeles than Culver City, whose police are there to protect all residents.

Jeffrey Cooper, Culver City

..

To the editor: As a 30-year resident of Culver City and an avid walker, I can assure readers that we have our share of homeless people. They camp in our parks, next to our library and along Ballona Creek.

Culver City is surrounded on three sides by Los Angeles. We endure constant streams of traffic from L.A. commuters and noise from LAX.

Now we’re taking cheap shots from L.A. politicians.

James Harris, Culver City

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