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Civic affairs Safety

Public safety update at our annual meeting

Police Lt. Mike Villegas answered questions on several topics from those who attended our April 2024 annual meeting. Lt. Frank Browning is our area commander, but Villegas was on duty that morning and we appreciate his taking time for us.

  • Homelessness
    • Question: How to respond to people who think the Navigation Center and other services attract more people experiencing homelessness to our city? Villegas: Data does not show that. It has not happened.
    Continuing Relentless Sun initiative. At start we counted 500 homeless. Many were transient through PS. How many were residents of PS? 250. We monitor all of these individuals. Any crime was not tolerated, from taking carts, etc. We cannot enforce not camping if we cannot provide a bed. So Navigation Center is big plus for us. We narrowed 250 to about 150 now. Knowing Navigation Center was opening, as we make sure the city has the resources to get them help or housing, or get them a bed overnight then we can do more enforcement. Right now, we have about 150-155. Fifty have been going back and forth from drop-in Access Center (near the airport) to Navigation Center overnight, so in August when modular studios open they will be eligible, we will have 80+ housing units for longer term and social services.
    • You can help us be extra eyes and ears and report issues to either enforce or help people with resources. Call us!
  • Question: Panhandling
    • At the Sunrise/111 intersection, traffic safety issue. It’s not allowed, but we go and move them and then they go back.
    • Nuisance issue that police do address and try to assess what’s going on with that individual.
  • Question: Resources for mental health for residents – homeless or other.
    • Critical incident team. Telecare facility. Resources for homeless with mental health issues. If crisis, we detain and take them to Desert Regional.
    • Phase 2 of Nav Center, that will add more mental health services.
  • Question: What can we do if we see people who don’t belong in our condo community, in the pool whatever? Call the police. You are our eyes and ears. Call us.