Oxnard police are taking action on a group of homeless camps at Ormond Beach.
The two-week operation began on Monday. Police, along with other agencies, will aid in removing encampments that have set up along the wetland area.
Commander Robin Whitney says police warned homeless people living at the Oxnard beach for two months prior to the operation. Now, their mission is to get people living there help while making the beach a safer spot for people to visit
“We started getting complaints from the residents nearby, Port Hueneme residents, and from the people who are walking along the beach that say they were being confronted by homeless individuals,” said Commander Whitney. “They were noticing a large number of homeless encampments that are being set up and they felt uncomfortable.”
Whitney says homeless people started to migrate to Ormond Beach after the Haleco site across the street was cleared last year.
Oxnard police conducted an operation on that site in December 2017.
It’s also illegal for anyone to camp at Ormond Beach. The wetland is a protected site and setting up a temporary home violates a city ordinance.
“We also brought social service providers out here with us offering them services trying to find them places where they can go,” said Whitney. “Unfortunately most of them refuse that offer.”
The California Coastal Commission is also stepping in to get rid of an invasive species and potentially harmful plant called Myoporum trees.
“Those happen to be the trees that the homeless people prefer to set up encampments under,” said Whitney.
Commander Whitney says homeless people will often make dwellings using the trees.
Crisis Intervention Officer, Nicholas Curtis hopes this operation will help point people in the right direction.
“This isn’t sustainable for them to be out here,” said Curtis. “We can’t have them out here, so the next step is where do they go? You know, what do they do? So, just trying to relay to them that there are opportunities for them elsewhere and making sure they have access to that.”
Oxnard Police will be out clearing the site for the next week and a half.