The Homeless Problem continues to grow at all levels.
Locally, statewide and nationally. In the past, Cities used existing ordinances prohibiting public camping , loitering, public drunkenness and aggressive panhandling to deal with the issue.
Our current Police Chief, Rob Handy, seems to have adopted an arms length approach to dealing with the problem, fearing the courts and ACLU.
For all intents and purposes, it appears Handy would rather let the issue fester, than deal with the reality of it by enforcing existing laws.
Surely, our police resources are better used to deal with other issues, but the fact remains that homeless people are prone to both petty crime and major crime.
Dillan Tabares, whom was shot and killed at the 7-11 on Springdale and Edinger on September 22nd, 2017, was homeless and mentally ill.
He murdered Richard Darland on September 19th, in what officers described as a gruesome beating of an 80 year old man, whom was simply trying to help the troubled and addicted Tabares.
The vast majority of Homeless suffer from drug and alcohol addiction and/or mental illness. When offered assistance, fully 90 percent decline it.
The problem is a result of the failure of the State to deal with its addicted and mentally ill population.
The State of California passed a ballot initiative, Proposition 63, in 2004, imposing a surtax on millionaires to fund Mental Health services.
It has resulted in over 17 billion dollars in revenue to the state to help pay for these services. Where did it go?
Apparently, some people are not quite sure.
The State of California is largely responsible for our current situation, along with groups such as the ACLU, who sue as advocates for homeless people when they feel that their rights have been usurped.
The only problem is, the mayhem and havoc caused by large concentrations of addicted and or mentally ill people become part of the daily routine.
The new normal.
If the Police Department were to begin a program of aggressive enforcement of existing laws, instead of Handy’s feel good “Community Based Policing” policy, the word would quickly spread that Huntington Beach is a hostile environment for the homeless and they would move on and thin out the herd.
No doubt it would require more effort on the part of HBPD to implement this strategy, but the Police department owes it to the residents of Huntington Beach to make parks a safe place again, to reduce the petty crime associated with this behavior, and restore order and predictability to our community.
Nobody should have to tolerate public urination and defecation, the possibility of spreading hepatitis, used needles, stolen bicycles and burglarized cars and garages, indecent exposure, the theft of the solitude and fun of our park facilities and aggressive harassment by drug addled and /or mentally ill panhandlers, so that these people can live as they choose and impose their way of life on others.
It works both ways.
Certainly these people have rights, but they do not supersede the rights of others to expect a predictable, safe society.
Life is hard enough as it is without one of these guys pissing on your porch.
The current lax hands-off enforcement policies need to change. Its time to get back to enforcing the law and forging ahead with new law that guts the ACLU’s challenges…
City Council candidates had better not adopt a “kill em with kindness / Perhaps they just need a little love” mindset. “Community based policing” has resulted in an epic fail.
It’s time to go back to old school methods of addressing the problem…aggressive enforcement that sends the message that HB is not a chill place to be, if you want to live this lifestyle and impose it on others.
Perhaps this is what HB’s own punk rock jokers, the Vandals, envisioned when they recorded “Anarchy Burger”…