Since there is not a permanent solution yet for the transient population residing in the riverbed, Sgt. Jim recommends staying out of the riverbeds at night as they are loaded with traps. He says the bike and walking trails are safe, however, describing transient dangerousness as, “If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.”
Although there are many moving pieces to completely resolving this issue, here are some tips Sgt. Jim recommended as a means to decrease the number of transient run ins here in Oceanside.
Sgt. Jim recommended businesses in Oceanside:
- Hire a private security guard to watch over the property
- Businesses in an area can split the cost to hire a security team to protect the entire center or shopping mall.
- Some security teams are specifically trained and well equipped to handle transient activity.
- Sgt. Jim said he can give recommendations for security companies if needed.
- Implement a security system
- The locked doors at the Chamber offices have significantly decreased the amount of transient activity in our area.
- Build structures in areas around your businesses where transients can sleep, install lights or play music.
- Businesses have added enhancements to their property to detract transients from camping there overnight. The Best Western, for instance, put a succulent garden in an area frequented by transient campers which has succeeded in deterring transients from sleeping on their grounds.
- The City of Oceanside installed lights and plays music in the tunnel detracting from its overnight coziness.
- Call the non-emergency line
- The H.O.T. team responds to ALL calls within an hour based on priority.
- The team tracks the location of these calls and find trends where people are calling. Those areas are then regularly monitored for transient activity.
- This helps them determine transient hotspots and areas that need more patrol.
- If the H.O.T. team comes out to that business/area, have the employee or person who called the line sign for a citizen’s arrest.
- They cannot physically arrest them, but they will ticket the transient individual, which will keep them away from that area as they do not want to deal with law enforcement.
- They cannot arrest them due to impacted jails and certain laws for public vs. private property.
- Talk with other businesses in your area to make sure you are on the same page
- If the entire area does not cater to transients, there will be less transient activity. For example, do not give transients food or water. They will keep coming back (and bring friends) knowing they have access to resources.
- Continuously call the non-emergency line to show transient people they are not welcome.
- Make sure other businesses are okay with signing for a citizen’s arrest.
Phone numbers to call:
Non-Emergency Line: (760) 435-4900
Sgt. Jim’s Desk Number: (760) 435-4552
Sgt. Jim’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce will hold a second transient activity workshop February 22nd from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chamber offices. This is a great opportunity for you to hear the full transient backstory, the setbacks officers have been confronted with and the strides they have taken and continue to take in order to resolve this issue. You can also ask personal questions, report specific transient activity in your area or recommend actions to be taken as the H.O.T. team is open to all ideas. It is a free event. Please register here!