Oxnard Police Confirm Sustained Ormond Beach Vagrant Policing Effort

From: Sonstegard, Eric

Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2019 1:23 PM
To:
Cc: Ashley GoldenEmilio RamirezAlexander NguyenScott WhitneyLambert, Jeffrey
Subject: Ormond Beach

Good afternoon:

I have seen a few email correspondences circulating around with inaccurate information about our current Ormond Beach efforts and I wanted to take a minute to address some of the concerns.

We sent out two (2) press releases this past week and in each one, we emphasized that this was a joint effort with several local partners. I personally spoke with numerous media outlets and in each conversation, I stressed that this was the “first phase of a sustained effort” to address the issues in and around Ormond Beach.

While we were contacting the individuals camping at Ormond this week, we also had Environmental Resources personnel evaluating the area to determine how long a clean-up might take. They determined it would take approx, six (6) days to complete the initial clean up operation. We began the clean up on Thursday and plan for it to continue all next week. Mr. Scrivner’s assertion that “the cleanups and evictions are over” and “they have no intention of completing the job” is patently untrue. It is not productive when inaccurate information gets spread via email. 

I also saw a comment that “OPD only intends to enforce the law on Ormond Beach for two more days“. This is also not true. As part of our sustained effort, we plan on having frequent patrols of the Ormond Beach area. We also plan on staggering the days/times so the individuals in the area can not plan for our arrival. I apologize if any of our responding officers misrepresented our intentions. In a city of almost a quarter of a million residents, our patrol officers aren’t always privy to all of our current operational plans. 

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions/concerns in the future. I’m always willing to share whatever we can and  we look forward to working with all the stakeholders at Ormond Beach.

Have a good rest of the weekend.

Assistant Chief Eric S. Sonstegard

Oxnard Police Department-Field Services Bureau

W (805) 385-7801 C (805) 990-1079 [email protected]

    F.B.I. National  Academy Associates, California Chapter-1st Vice President

      


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3 Responses to Oxnard Police Confirm Sustained Ormond Beach Vagrant Policing Effort

  1. Patrick Rawl August 30, 2019 at 2:56 am

    David Scrivner I think you for your comments and couldn’t agree more. It has been about 10 months since there was a story on news about the cleanup at Ormond Beach and regarding moving the vagrants. https://www.keyt.com/news/oxnard-police-conduct-operation-on-homeless-camps-at-ormond-beach-1/823220813
    This was back in Oct. 2018. So I look at it like the ongoing cleanup has been a failure. After 10 months since the news story aired, it took countless emails and calls to City officials, and city employees. While I thought Oxnard city council members made a lot of money I believe I was wrong. I think most make around 22K a year. In either case I was upset when I read a transcript of a city council meeting in so many words saying they were tired of hearing about the issue and that they couldn’t deport the vagrants. Of course this was before a dog was kicked and had its heart displaced from the impact, and a collapsed lung. So click on the link to see the news from 10 months ago. Only thing that I believe that got the city to move to do something was national attention on the matter. The LAST wetlands bird sanctuary in So. California was violated by the lack of care and enforcement of the ordinances that were passed. Shame Shame.

    Reply
    • patrick August 30, 2019 at 10:13 am

      Thank not think.. wish i could edit my responses.

      Reply
  2. david scrivner August 24, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Mr. Sonstegard

    The information I included in the email you are referring came directly from two OPD officers I talked to at about 10:30 this morning. They were responding to a call I made about 15 minutes earlier to OPD regarding a vagrant who had reentered the dunes area and was hiding in a bush next to the lagoon. I thanked them for their timely response to my call and asked about the next step in the process. They told me that OPD presence on Ormond Beach would stop in two days due to budget constraints. They also told me that the clean up was over and there was no was no plan to complete the evictions and cleanup for the vagrant encampments east of the lagoon or on the slag pile and in the area adjacent to the slag pile. I specifically mentioned that the vagrants living on the slag pile were destabilizing the clay cap installed by the EPA by digging into it. They told me that those areas were private property and Oxnard would not get involved. There was no confusion about this. They indicated that they were unhappy with this decision and would like nothing better than to enforce the laws and move these people off the beach. That’s a credible response. Every person in law enforcement has the same response.

    Up to the point that I was given this information I have been quite happy with the actions that Oxnard and Hueneme have taken this week to address the longstanding fiasco on Ormond Beach. It had been my understanding that the encampments would be removed, the vagrants evicted and the environmental laws would be enforced. Frankly I was stunned by the information I received. For the life of me I can’t understand why they would tell me this unless this is what OPD is telling them.

    Unfortunately the information they provided to me is the same information I received from OPD officers at the end of the Ormond Beach Island eviction in October.
    As you know ten months earlier OPD evicted the vagrants living at the Halaco site. The vagrants move 100 yards away into a bird sanctuary. OPD let them do this and did nothing to stop them until October of 2018. That cleanup was ending because prematurely because of budgetary issues. I visited the site and thanked an officer for cleaning up the area and enforcing the law. He told me that there would be no ongoing enforcement of the area due to budget issues. That’s exactly what happened.

    The vagrants who had just been evicted from the island simply moved across the lagoon and set up shop in the dunes in plain sight of the ongoing operation. Others had moved off the island and set up on next to fence at the end of Perkins Road, 15 feet away from where I was talking to a group of other officers who were doing nothing. I litterly mean nothing. Four of them were sitting in an ATV bull shitting with each other. I pointed to the encampments in the dunes and the people setting up the encampment next to the fence and asked them why they were allowing it. The officer I was talking with said “We will deal with that later”. I had a bad feeling about this but I never thought he meant it would take another ten months. At that point there was one encampment. A couple weeks latter there were five. Within a few weeks there were to many to count by walking down the beach. A few months later it became dangerous to walk down the beach past the Hueneme Border. Calls to OPD resulted in no action. I have lived in Port Hueneme for 39 years. I frequently walk down the beach towards Pt. Mugu. Until Monday I have never, I repeat never seen a single OPD officer or vehicle on the beach.

    At the end of April I was walking down the beach and found a trench which had been dug in order to drain the lagoon. As you are aware the lagoon is an important component of the wetlands area which is under federal, state and local protection. It was obviously created to cause the water In the lagoon to breach the berm and create a stream from the lagoon to the ocean in an attempt to keep the public from proceeding past that point. It was a serious environmental crime. I called OPD.
    They refused to do anything claiming that it was not a crime and if it was it wasn’t their responsibility to do anything about it.

    Please forgive me if I am being overly blunt here. My experience informs me that conversations with the “boots on the ground” have proven to be far more accurate and reliable than the proclamations made by OPD officials or the elected representatives in city government. You indicated that there is a plan going forward. What is it and what is the timetable. If there is timely actionable reasonable plan to resolve the problems on Ormond Beach and to keep them from recurring you will start to build trust with a skeptical population if you follow through on it. If there is such a plan I suggest that you educate OPD officers so they can provide accurate information to the public.

    David Scrivner

    Reply

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