Placerville Police and Outreach Teams tackle Illegal Homeless Camps
In what Placerville police characterized as an outreach operation, officers accompanied by mental health and community resource representatives removed 14 illegal camps at locations throughout the city. After weeks of extra patrols during which officers advised illegal campers of the need to comply with state and local laws, police and city crews partnered with mental health representatives and members of the Community Resource Center, and returned to the areas frequented by campers. The purpose of the operation, officials said, was to remove illegal camps and to connect those individuals in crisis and wanting help with available services.
The Wednesday morning operation focused on known areas of illegal camping and resulted in the removal of camps along Broadway, Placerville Drive, Ray Lawyer Drive and along the El Dorado Trail from Mosquito Road to Schnell School, according to a Police Department news release...
Officials described a “restorative policing” effort, in which teams used discretion when evaluating options for dealing with the illegal camps and determining whether mental health assistance, crisis management resources or enforcement best fit the situation.
“Our aim is to balance outreach and enforcement efforts when dealing with habitual transient offenders often afflicted with mental health and drug and alcohol dependencies,” Police Chief Scott Heller said in a written statement. “I believe we struck that balance during today’s operation working with our community partners and were able to make an overall impact for the better.”
A legal camp, Hangtown Haven, which operated as a self-governing tent city for 16 months as part of a pilot program authorized by the Placerville City Council, was forced to close in November when its city permit expired. Although police said the people at Hangtown Haven were not to blame, the tent city was closed in the wake of complaints that the well-publicized effort to aid the homeless also resulted in an influx of transients to the city.
Police reported that 10 individuals were contacted Wednesday in the vicinity of the illegal camps and offered outreach services....
Another man was arrested after leaving an illegal camp along Broadway when officers arrived. He was contacted by officers a short time later near another illegal camp along the El Dorado Trail. Identified as 20-year-old Caleb Stroud, he was found to have an arrest warrant and was in possession of burglary tools, police reported.
Police advise anyone with questions regarding the operation or wishing to report and illegal camp may call Sgt. Brody Jordan at (530) 642-5210.
The Placerville Police Department released this report:
Placerville Police News Release
Contact: Lt. Kim Nida, (530) 642-5210
Release Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2014, 3:50 PM
Case Number: PG14-0246
Placerville, CA – Police Partner with Mental Health and Community Resource Center to Address Illegal Camps
The Placerville Police Department initiated a Joint Outreach Operation this morning focusing on illegal camping. Several teams consisting of Placerville Police Officers, City Crews, Mental Health, and representatives from the Community Resource Center partnered together to focus on known areas of illegal camping throughout the city.
After weeks of extra patrols and advising illegal campers of the need to comply with state and local laws, the police partnered with Mental Health and members of the Community Resource Center (CRC) and headed back into the hillsides throughout the city, to take action. Teams were made up of Placerville Police Officers along with representatives from Mental Health and the Community Resource Center. The purpose of the operation was to remove illegal camps and to connect those individuals in crisis and wanting help with available resources.
In a Restorative Policing effort, teams utilized maximum discretion when evaluating options in dealing with the illegal camps as it is understood this is not a "one size fits all" issue. Evaluations were made in the field to determine the best options (i.e. mental health, crisis management resources, enforcement, etc.) to fit each situation presented. Police Chief Scott Heller stated, “Our aim is to balance outreach and enforcement efforts when dealing with habitual transient offenders often afflicted with mental health and drug and alcohol dependencies. I believe we struck that balance during today’s operation working with our community partners and were able to make an overall impact for the better.”
Officers encountered and removed 14 illegal camps along Broadway, Placerville Drive and Ray Lawyer Drive, and along the El Dorado Trail from Mosquito Road to past Schnell School. 10 individuals were contacted in the vicinity of the illegal camps and were offered outreach services. Several subjects fled camps as teams approached including a subject that fled from an illegal camp above Ray Lawyer / Placerville Drive leaving behind a loaded shortened shotgun and scoped rifle in the camp on a city resident’s private property. The subject was apprehended a short distance away and found to be a registered sex offender with a no bail warrant identified as Daniel Carpenter, 36 years old. An additional subject was arrested after leaving an illegal camp along Broadway upon officers’ arrival and being contacted a short time later along the El Dorado Trail in the vicinity of another illegal camp. Caleb Stroud, 20 years old was found to have an arrest warrant and was in possession of burglary tools.
While many camps were removed, a lot of trash remained along the targeted areas, simply due to a temporary overload of available cleanup resources. The Police Department is planning a follow up operation with City Crews and interested volunteers to assist with the trash cleanup effort. A date and time for the cleanup will be forthcoming. All the property gathered during this operation was booked into evidence for safe keeping. Property kept as safe keeping at the Police Department can be returned by appointment.
Anyone with questions regarding this operation or wanting to report the location of illegal camps is urged to contact Sergeant Brody Jordan of the Placerville Police Department at (530) 642-5210.
More pictures here: http://www.cityofplacerville.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=...