Orange County, Calif., reached a settlement Tuesday that will allow law enforcement to immediately arrest homeless people in certain locations, including the John Wayne Airport, flood control channels and high-risk wilderness areas.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors settled two federal lawsuits filed last year aimed at efforts to clear out hundreds of homeless people who were camped out along the Santa Ana riverbed near Angel Stadium, Los Angeles’s Fox 11 reported.
The settlement reached Tuesday allows Orange County to create two zones to enforce nuisance laws—one in which homeless people can be arrested immediately, another that requires police to first seek help from social workers.
Homeless individuals will be arrested immediately in areas that include John Wayne Airport, flood control channels and high-risk wilderness areas. Police in other designated areas will have to first reach out to social workers to place homeless people in shelters. If transients refuse services, police are allowed to put them in jail.
"If it seems obvious that a patient has a medical condition then they will be transported to a county clinic for assessment" before being placed in a shelter, Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said.
The settlement also included a measure that allows U.S. District Judge David O. Carter to resolve grievances to step in to resolve grievances. The Orange County Sheriff's Department is not allowed to enforce anti-camping laws in contract cities without adequate shelter for their homeless population.