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By Eric Heinz

Details about enforcing nuisance and code compliance infractions caused by homeless people were presented at the Tuesday, Feb. 21, City Council meeting.

San Clemente Chief of Police David Moodie and Joe Bull, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department community liaison for the city, attributed the rise in the populations, in the city and county, to various sources. The biggest reason, Moodie said, is likely from the effects of Prop 47, which makes narcotics possession and other “lesser” crimes punishable by citation only.
Moodie said the department receives calls regarding homeless people trespassing or disturbing businesses constantly, but there isn’t always something they can do.

The city’s most recent trespassing laws gives business owners the ability to have people who are causing problems removed and cited, but only if the owners are willing to press charges to have the person prosecuted, which Bull said can deter people sometimes out of either compassion for the offender’s situation or fear of retaliation.

Room at shelters is also meager, Bull said, and sometimes it can be difficult to get some homeless people to go to them.

San Clemente is estimated to have more than 70 people who are chronically homeless—people who are seen on the streets in a particular area for more than four weeks at a time.

Moodie said calls to the city’s Police Services Department are up 15 percent from 2015 to 2016, with many of them related to homelessness or other nuisances.

When asked about certain known locations of homeless people, such as convenient stores, Bull said Police Services keeps in contact with the owners of the locations but can’t situate a deputy at those places at all times. The officers are continuing to work with Family Assistance Ministries, the nonprofit 211 and the city’s Targeting Reduction Investigation Prevention (TRIP) program, which helps locate and enforce infractions.

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comments (2)

  • Reporting to the City about any issues such as is suggested in this article is not easy. If it is simple you most likely will get to the right person and it gets addressed. However, when it is not the straightforward and I’ve placed calls and sent emails they are misrouted or lost.

    The City should enable direct messaging on their Twitter (not Facebook) page so residents can submit their non-emergency needs for assistance. This provides a 24/7 messaging infrastructure to the city at no cost and provides accountability as well as a better experience for residents.

  • these “homeless”…they are professional con-artists…they have no desire to help others…let alone themselves. this is my hometown of 40 years…this trend of san clemente letting these scumbags roost is a mistake on the counsel’s part. Get these hobos out of here !!! the thrift stores here in town better not feel pity for them..NO FREE CLOTHES OR FOOD…KICK THEM OUT…THEY WILL JUST MOVE ONTO ANOTHER TOWN WILLING TO PUT UP WITH THEIR PITY-PARTY !!!!!!!!!

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