Nature of Incident: Sheriff Homeless Liaison Unit (HLU)
Location: Ventura County
Date & Time: December 6, 2021
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has created a collateral team to assist in addressing the ever-growing demand of our vulnerable population throughout the county. The purpose of the team is to provide an additional resource to full and part time Homeless Liaison Officer’s (HLO’s) already established within the agency.
In 2013, the Sheriff’s Office recognized the need for law enforcement to play a bigger role in community outreach when dealing with the homeless population. As a result, Project Hope was formed in the City of Camarillo which included the agency’s first full time Homeless Liaison Officer. Since that time, two additional full time HLO’s were created and assigned to the Thousand Oaks Police Department. In addition, several part time deputies have been established and assigned to the Headquarters Fillmore and Ojai stations.
At the direction of Sheriff Bill Ayub, a 20-person team was recently formed consisting of sworn personnel with a passion for serving this population. Many of the members have established themselves as subject matter experts and have a vested interest in mental health training. The HLU will focus its efforts on larger encampments and problem areas requiring a multi-pronged solution. The HLU will also partner with Homeless Taskforce Teams established by other local law enforcement agencies to address issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries. The HLU will assume a primary role in the jurisdictions we serve and will be available to offer assistance to other agencies in the county.
Goals of the unit include decreasing calls for service related to this population, establishing a dedicated team with the training and experience specific to this population, continuing to build relationships with our county partners also working to address this topic, supporting directed outreach programs, and using those relationships to get our vulnerable population more permanent support.
Homelessness has impacted our communities as well as our neighboring communities on many different levels. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to providing the highest quality of service to the communities we serve.
Prepared by: Captain Cameron Henderson
News Release Date: December 7, 2021
Media Follow-Up Contact: Captain Cameron Henderson Office (805) 654-2417 [email protected]
Approved by: Commander Bill Schierman