LAPD notes ‘room for improvement’ after Echo Park cleanup of homeless camps and resulting protests

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Workers remove a couch from a campsite left behind by a homeless person in Echo Park in April 2021. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Workers remove a couch from a campsite left behind by a homeless person in Echo Park in April 2021. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles Police Department report on the Echo Park closure and resulting protests in March found several shortcomings in the department’s response, including insufficient tracking of projectile weapons and poor communication with media in the field.

The report concluded that the closure and subsequent fallout — which occurred after city officials determined that a homeless encampment in the park had grown out of control, necessitating repairs — might have been avoided if municipal park rangers had prevented the encampment’s expansion.

“Had the encampment in Echo Park been adequately addressed in its early stages, there never would have been a need for a full-scale closure,” the LAPD concluded in its “After Action Report,” released Friday.

“Currently, Park Rangers are missing nearly half their allotted positions. They simply do not have the resources to monitor every park in the City,” the LAPD report states. “To prevent another encampment from establishing itself in a popular public space, the City should make fully staffing the Park Rangers a top priority.”

Read the full story at LATimes.com

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