LA police training to help those in need as way to address city's homeless crisis, report shows

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A new report shows that Los Angeles police are being trained to reach out to the homeless people in need as a way to address the city's growing homeless crisis. (KABC)

It's a major priority in the city of Los Angeles - addressing the homeless crisis.

Often the first who deal with the issue is law enforcement, and a new report states the LAPD is being trained to reach out to those in need.

"Our goal is not to arrest. Our goal is to do something quite different, especially on the misdemeanor side," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

The department is using what are called HOPE teams, which include officers but also homeless case workers to help those on the street.

The report found in 2017 there were 6,477 felony arrests, which is an increase of 12 percent from 2016. There were also 6,652 misdemeanor arrests and more than 24,000 mental evaluation requests.

"Now is the time to do something about homeless folks, about getting them off the streets, and we're putting the resources in it to do that and that's the part that I see as hopeful," Beck said.

The homeless population grew by 20 percent in 2017. Beck hopes the new resources will bring that number down for 2018.
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societyhomelesslapdlos angeles police departmentLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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