OC Board of Supervisors Vote to Increase Police Presence at Homeless Camp

A homeless encampment near Angel Stadium will start seeing a larger law enforcement presence after the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to boost police presence along the riverbed and flood-control channels in Santa Ana and Anaheim. 

Supervisors voted Tuesday approving a plan to have sheriff's deputies patrol the Santa Ana River every day of the week. Supervisor Todd Spitzer says he believes this will cause criminals to leave right away. 

"There's going to be action based on just based upon this statement that law enforcement will be present in the riverbed." 

Critics say the Board of Supervisors is criminalizing homelessness, which Spitzer says is untrue. 

"We're not criminalizing the status of homelessness. But we're absolutely holding people to the same laws everyone else has to abide by." 

A recent census of the area counted nearly 450 people living in the encampment. Residents in the area say that has led to a spike in crime. 

Supervisor Shawn Nelson says the county is not ready to move those living in the encampment. 

"There's no place that we're going to find that's acceptable. And until we get over that, we're just going to be on this carousel." 

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