SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – San Diego Police are hoping to better tackle quality of life issues with a new division created specifically to deal with community concerns.
The new Neighborhood Police Division was formed to deal with issues related to homelessness.
In Pacific Beach, for example, many ongoing issues are rooted in homelessness, and police said patrol is often not equipped to handle concerns but officers in the new unit are expected to be more responsive.
“A drug house that is down the street from you and disrupting your life, it could be graffiti, it can be homeless, mental health issues,” said Captain Scott Wahl, SDPD.
Still, concerns remain within the community after San Diego Police consolidated and put the Homeless Outreach (H.O.T) and Quality of Life teams under one unit to create the Neighborhood Policing Division.
The new unit made up of 60 officers citywide will be on duty seven days a week, but will not respond to crimes in progress or a minor crimes.
During the Pacific Beach Town Council on Wednesday, the Neighborhood Policing Division met with residents.
Last month, News 8 shared concerns from residents about the infestation of trash, debris and homeless encampments in the Rose Creek.
A few days later after the story aired, the Neighborhood Policing team along with the city showed up to clean it up.
“You can arrest them, but that won’t help it. These guys can show up, see who they are and get an idea and offer them resources as opposed to rousting them or arresting them,” said Richard Kiser.
The new unit does not require calls because they respond via email or through the city’s Get It Done app within 48 hours.
The Neighborhood Policing Division responds citywide.
Their contact information is:
Homeless Outreach Team Message Line: (619) 446-1010
Shelter Availability and Resource Referral: Dial 2-1-1
Mental Health 24-Hour Hotline: (888) 724-7240