Sometimes authorities need to think outside of the box in order to find ways to address law enforcement problems. A Nevada City has found a way to deal with homeless people who commit crimes…get rid of homeless people. Nevada City police chief, James Wickham , has put forth a proposal which will require homeless people to get a permit in order to sleep outside.
Wickham has submitted a proposal to the town council to pass a no camping ordinance. No camping ordinances require those within the city’s boundaries to get a permit from the city, usually at a cost, in order to sleep outside of a house or apartment. The police chief is hoping to do away with those pesky homeless people once and for all!
Wickham claims the solution is one-of-a-kind even though Colorado’s Denver City Council passed a similar “no camping” ordinance back in 2010. The ACLU opposed Denver’s move at the time deeming it “unnecessary, mean-spirited and potentially unconstitutional.”
Speaking to CBS, Wickham clarified his proposals:
“The goal is to start managing the homeless population within our city. It just basically means you can’t set up a tent. You can’t live in your vehicle. You can’t live in the woods in Nevada City.”
The law will have very few exceptions and only allow a small number of Nevada City residents to get away with public sleeping. Wickham was said openly that he hopes the ordinance will help cut down the amount of homeless people that have come to Nevada City because of the financial crisis. According to the proposal, Wickham will give out about 6 to 10 permits initially, and will look to review the program in 6 months to check whether it is working. Wickham has identified at least 60 homeless people in the immediate community and up to 500 countywide. Any homeless person found sleeping in public without a permit will be arrested if the proposal is adopted.
How do you feel about Nevada City’s No Camping Ordinance?