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Police cite homeless for illegal camping
Dennis Wyatt
Dennis Wyatt

There are legitimate city ordinances that apply to everyone regardless of their housing status that are being routinely — and defiantly — ignored by a number of homeless in Manteca.

The primary ordinances being violated are park hours, camping, and property storage.

Manteca Police community resource officers assigned to homeless issues have been stepping up night time enforcement. The latest was Saturday night.

Numerous homeless were contacted by the two officers in the days leading up to the nighttime enforcement on March 30.

According to a Manteca Police release, several homeless said they would continue to violate the three ordinances as they saw fit especially in the evening hours when the two community resource officers typically aren’t on duty.

There were 25 individuals contacted Saturday. Four were cited for camping violations that were outside of the allowed hours (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.) or being in an area that camping is barred under municipal code. Another four had seven warrants between them. Two were cited and released at the scene while two others were arrested and booked into San Joaquin County Jail. An additional individual was found to be in possession of a controlled substance. They was also arrested and booked into the San Joaquin County Jail.

Two weeks prior the last nighttime enforcement targeted those illegally in parks past posted closure times unless there is a city-authorized event going on.

Police officers issued 14 citations on March 14 to those who were in the park illegally after they were closed. Most of the offenders were homeless.

At the same time four of those cited for being in violation of posted park closure hours had seven warrants for their arrests between them. They were either arrested or cited based on the severity of the warrants.

By ordinance, most parks in Manteca are closed between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. although some exceptions have been carved out for community parks as well as Library Park. That said all parks have posted hours. The closure hours also apply to off-street parking lots if the park has one.

The biggest problem parks for use after hours are Library Park, Lincoln Park, Northgate Park, Spreckels Park/BMX track, and the Tidewater Bikeway greenbelt park.

Most of the issues revolve around homeless although they also involve the sheltered.   

The two community resource officers continue to conduct outreach and provide resources to homeless individuals in the hopes of transitioning them off of the streets. In addition to the CROs also use enforcement as a tool to encourage compliance and adherence to the law.  

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email