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Placer Sups seek new ordinances for vagrancy issues

November 17, 2015

To better empower law enforcement to deal with vagrancy issues throughout Placer County, the county board of supervisors voted unanimously today to direct staff to propose new local ordinances to address these issues.

The board provided direction on new ordinances in response to ongoing resident concerns about a number of problems associated with vagrancy, including littering, dumping, graffiti, aggressive panhandling, open containers and public urination and defecation. County staff were directed to propose ordinances specifically targeting those problems, and to align recommendations with other existing ordinances in neighboring jurisdictions.

While there are existing state laws prohibiting each of those behaviors, board members noted that their incidence varies from area to area and that Placer should consider more tailored ordinances suited to problems in Placer County.

“My concern is, whatever we do bring forward, that we make sure it is fully implementable, it’s enforceable, it’s constitutional, it will support any legal challenges that could be brought forward, and frankly that it meets our ends,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “I want to make sure that we’re working with the Sheriff’s office, the District Attorney’s office, to get that whole spectrum of buy-in, not just from our board, but from law enforcement, as well.”  

County staff are consulting with leading homelessness expert Dr. Robert Marbut to ensure that whatever ordinances are proposed encourage participation in county programs to help people end their homelessness.

The county continues to work with Marbut to develop long-term solutions to deal with homelessness.

County staff will present draft ordinance recommendations to the board for consideration in the near future.

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