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Lakeport Police Department
Thursday March 24th, 2022 :: 06:11 p.m. PDT


Homeless Encampment Removal

Today, Lakeport Police and Lakeport Public Works staff removed a significant homeless encampment on the ridge above the South side of Safeway.  The site of the camp was on City of Lakeport property known as the Ninth Street extension which is unimproved road right-of-way.  This location has been a regular site of camps and a concern for surrounding residential and commercial property owners for numerous reasons including safety, sanitary conditions and fire danger.  Police surveyed the property and contacted the occupants numerous times in efforts to mitigate the situation.  Our embedded Crisis Responder from Lake Family Resource Center worked with occupants to offer resources from the many agencies working on homelessness in Lake County.  In this situation, one offer included housing and a job.  On March 9th, by direction of the Chief of Police, the property was ordered vacated, with written notices posted as well as personally served on occupants giving them sufficient time to remove their belongings.  These notices and removal times are required by federal court case law decisions.   Over the past two weeks, numerous other follow up contacts were made at the camp and persons were notified the removal would start this morning. 

Upon arrival at 8 AM this morning, only one occupant was located in the camp.  That occupant was offered and did accept resources to be transported to a local homeless shelter and to be further provided with other resources tomorrow. 

Numerous public works and police staff proceeded to clean the camp and rehabilitate the area over the next 9 hours.  This work included hauling off 15 yards of trash and fire fuel reduction.  Numerous complaints involved the use of cooking and warming fires in this high fire danger area.  We also safeguarded, removed and stored a pick-up bed load of personal property which had value to the occupants.  This safeguarding and property storage is also required by federal court case law decisions as well as being the morally appropriate action to take. 

It is important to state that the removal of homeless camps can be complex and when we take this action we want to be sure that the problem will not just move down the street to the next neighborhood or business district.  For this reason we are very persistent with offering resources and assistance with connecting people to programs including those for housing, behavioral health and drug and alcohol addiction.  The most significant reasons we see people being in a homeless situation are behavioral health and substance abuse problems.  Many of the people causing issues for neighborhoods and businesses are people who refuse our assistance because they do not want to recognize or change their conditions.   Additionally, many of our tools we used to have to deal with misdemeanor criminal behavior have been removed by voter or legislative initiatives.  Much of this kind of criminal behavior is the very thing affecting the lives of the residents and business owners and generally making people feel unsafe or hesitant to use their public spaces or even being able to run their business.  It is sometimes difficult for us to address this bad behavior but we want the community to know we continue to work hard every day to keep Lakeport safe.  Please continue to contact us with your concerns. 

Lakeport Police Department
2025 S Main St
Lakeport, CA 95453

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-263-5491

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