Manteca is proposing making its contract for private security firms that check municipal park restrooms and the transit center at night to also provide a presence in downtown at city-owned facilities.
The additional security will cost $12,000.
The city in 2015 switched from hiring part-time employees to check and lock municipal restrooms at Library, Lincoln, Northgate, and Morezone parks to retaining a private security firm.
The city was finding it increasingly difficult to keep a worker on board given how homeless would harass them and often refuse to leave in an effort to spend the night in the restrooms. There were instances of the part-time workers being physically threatened prompting a need for a Manteca Police response.
That issue dropped significantly after the city hired a uniformed security service.
Manteca also uses a security service to check the transit center where the homeless are also an issue after hours.
The city is the largest downtown property owner between the library, the transit center, Wilson Park, Library Park, three public parking lots, and the Tidewater Bikeway. It is those properties that would be checked during the night by a private security firm.
Illegal camping or sleeping in parks after they close to everyone regardless of their housing status has been a hit and miss enforcement issue unless the department’s two community resource officers assigned to homeless are shifted occasionally to a night shift.
It is not illegal to sleep on city property that is not secured or on a municipal sidewalk providing adequate room is left for passage between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. It is illegal, however, as outlined in a municipal ordinance to sleep at the transit station, the Manteca Veterans Center on Moffat Boulevard, and parks when they are closed — including along the Tidewater Bikeway.
How the issue of people sleeping in vehicles parked on one of three downtown parking lots — four if you include the library parking lot — will be handled is subject to state law.
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