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Crackdown’ on Vagrants


Regarding your story on the Santa Barbara Police Department’s crackdown on State Street vagrants: Why is “crackdown” even a word being used here? Shouldn’t anyone who breaks a law be cited or arrested or appropriately dealt with by our local law enforcement? “Crackdown” just implies that the police weren’t doing their job previously, and that they have suddenly decided to do their job and uphold the laws of the land. Were there laws being broken that the police previously ignored or under-enforced, but because of the proclamation of a “crackdown” those laws will now be enforced? What a farce.

Law enforcement shouldn’t be selective, subjective, or focused on the socio-political mood of the day; laws should just be enforced, period. We shouldn’t be forced to keep guessing which “law du jour” will be given attention based on whatever political pressures happen to drift over the desk of Cam Sanchez or the City Council.

And I think I’ll buy a burger at The Habit, slip under the fake “Closed for Repairs” yellow caution tape, and sit on the brick bench and eat. Will I be arrested? Since the brick bench is obviously not in need of repair, and the SBPD has made such a blatantly false claim in their efforts to drive the vagrants elsewhere, I doubt I’d be at risk of arrest. But were I not over 40, decently dressed, showered, and apparently gainfully employed, the result might be very different.

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