'We're going to Hollywood': Villanueva's plan to clean up streets
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Sheriff has plans to make Hollywood feel safer despite it not being LASD’s patrol area.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva says he wants to have his deputies help clean up the streets in Hollywood.
"Yes we’re going to Hollywood," said Villanueva at the 5K event Saturday. "We’re also shifting our homeless effort now, but we’re gonna focus on Hollywood."
LA County’s top lawman compared the initiative to his efforts along the Venice boardwalk last summer — which he plans to do again in 2022.
Shortly after he toured Venice with a throng of reporters and community activists, many of the encampments along the boardwalk were removed.
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"We’re gonna go invade the beach again Memorial Day all the way through Labor Day," said Villanueva. "Just so we’re sending that message that it is safe to vacation here for local residents, it is safe for tourists to make this a destination."
Critics say there were already plans to remove the encampments along the boardwalk but Villanueva says it was his leadership that put pressure to have them removed.
People who work along Hollywood Boulevard say aid from an additional law enforcement agency would be a gamechanger.
"I know everyone around here would help the sheriff’s department in a heartbeat," said tour guide Johnny Kraude. "Because we’re tired of it."
Kraude has been a bus tour guide for 18 years and says the last two have been the worst he has ever seen.
"People when they come out of my tours they go ‘this is it? This is Hollywood?’" said Kraude on tourists' dismay when they see the blight. "They’re just shocked they go ‘we’ll never come back here.’"
Shady Ahmad works at a store on the Boulevard and said he feels unsafe on the job, especially when on late shifts.
"I have a lot of crazy homeless people come into the store and mess it up or steal," said Ahmad. "It just keeps happening."
The area in which Villanueva wants to have his deputies assist with patrols is the LAPD Hollywood division.
FOX 11 has reached out to LAPD on how they would work with the Sheriff.
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