The Police Department initiated a collaborative effort with Parks & Recreation and Public Works to eradicate illegal campsite locations throughout the city. Continued concerns over fire danger, public safety, environmental destruction and poor sanitation have been the focus of the effort. Many of the illegal campsites have become hideouts for criminal activity.
In the sixth week of this project, officers noted continued improvement in a number of areas along the levee. The department received 23 calls on the hotline identifying potential illegal campsite locations. In the Jesse Street marsh area two mattresses were located that were being used for prostitution activities and three campsites were cleaned. In week six the following was accomplished:
- 30 Citations Issued
- 18 Arrests
- 25 Campsites Identified and Posted With Warnings to Vacate
- 12 Campsites Cleaned
The totals for the first 6 weeks of the program are:
- 275 Citations issued
- 108 Arrests
- 159 Campsites Identified and Posted With Warnings to Vacate
- 54 Campsites Cleaned
The “posted” campsites have been scheduled for later cleanup.
We have received a number of tips from our Illegal Campsite Hotline. Community members are encouraged to report illegal campsite locations in the City of Santa Cruz. Call (831) 420-5892.