Chronic crime and shocking homicides caused Santa Cruz to reach a "critical mass," the task force wrote.
"Police responded to an astonishing104,836 calls for service in 2012 (15.8% increase from 2011). Calls are trending up for 2013. The vast majority of high density calls for service are located in close proximity to the San Lorenzo River basin. A large percentage of calls for service are related to individuals who self identify ashomeless, transient or use 115 Coral Street (the address of the Homeless Services Center) as their personal address," the report states.
The report also analyzed cases that had huge impacts on Santa Cruz's culture and mentality. Those cases included 16 year old skater/surfer, Tyler Tenorio, who was slain on Laurel Street in 2009; a downtown business owner, Shannon Collins, who Under Armour Shoes Apollo
The task force found Santa Cruzans have faith in their police department, hold little confidence in the courts' judicial system, and feel more fear and concern about their town's large homeless population than street gangs.
Safety task force releases report on improving Santa Cruz
"(From) January 2011 to April Under Armour Shoes White And Black 2013, 146 individuals were arrested a total of 3,598 times. On average, these individuals were arrested 24 times during this period," the report states.
Cruz residents called 911 at an all time high, most of the time, because of actions by homeless men and women near downtown.
The task force is made up of 15 members who were appointed out of a large number of locals who wanted to volunteer and take on the complex issues of public safety and quality of life.
"Nate reported what he described as a new trend in Santa Cruz. Heroin has also become a trendy drug for Santa Cruz high school and UCSC students, with kids as young as 14 using heroin. Heroin is a drug of choice on the party scene. Nate has frequently seen UCSC students stop their cars and ask to buy heroin from his friends. According to Nate, methamphetamine is more of a street drug used by homeless people than a recreational drug," the report states.
The task force listened to Santa Cruz residents who are considered "part of the problem," to understand their life stories.
One person was a 21 year old man named Nate who lives on the streets of Santa Cruz and is addicted to heroin. Nate said he sustains his $80 a day heroin habit by stealing from stores, cars and homes. He noted it's easy to hang out downtown because everything an addict needs is in close proximity.
was murdered in 2012 by a schizophrenic transient who was mistakenly released from a mental institution; and a nonprofit handing Under Armour Shoes Stephen Curry Gold
In recent months, Santa Under Armour Shoes Class A
drug addicts an endless supply of free drug needles, many of which ended up being left on beaches and in other public spaces.
The report states, "Over the last five years, community concern around public safety has reached critical mass, with many residents calling into question supposed community tolerance and apathy for illegal activity. During this period, multiple violent events jolted the community, each seemingly more senseless than the previous. In addition, persistent quality of life crimes, a large unsheltered homeless population, perceived disorder, and lack of pro social opportunities in public spaces, coupled with these acts of violence, tipped the scale for many in Santa Cruz, leading to calls for more protection and security. Much of the current community unease began with the 2009 and 2010 murders of Santa Cruz teenagers Tyler Tenorio and Carl Reimer. Both murders were gang related and galvanized a number of robust and vocal organized community groups into action. Following 2011, a year in which Santa Cruz County saw 14 homicides, the months between May 7, 2012 and February 28, 2013 could only be described as a perfect storm of criminal activity in Santa Cruz. On May 7th, local shop owner Shannon Collins was brutally murdered at midday by a mentally ill homeless man who had recently been released from prison due to a clerical error and who had been an overnight client of the Homeless Services Center. Her death sparked debate over the management of the HSC and the local effects of Assembly Bill 109 (AB109). In August of the same year, 12 year old Joey Mendoza was gunned down in a gang related drive by shooting on his way home from football practice. His death opened up festering wounds from the 2009 and 2010 deaths of Tenorio and Reimer and prompted new community conversations regarding the prevalence of gangs and youth violence. In November of 2012, a combination of heightened property crime and media attention around drug dens above Cowell Beach and illegally discarded hypodermic syringes found across town catalyzed community debate over the potential role of Syringe Exchange in perpetuating drug addiction, environmental and health hazards and neighborhood crime. The fallout over discarded syringes lasted for several weeks with no resolution to the debate. On February 26, Sergeant Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butlerwere murdered by a recent transplant with a criminal history.
Why are these 146 people always getting handcuffed, despite all of their get out of jail free cards? The report states that more than 50 percent of the arrests were made on drugs or alcohol charges.
Nate has used heroin for years, but he has never disposed a used syringe in a sharps container. If needed, he said, he will break off the tip of the syringe and throw it in the trash.
"While the vast majority of homeless individuals in the community abide by the law, Santa Cruz is burdened by a segment of the homeless population that is responsible for escalated disorder and public health concerns. Disruptive behaviors, flagrant disposal of human waste, illegal trash, and hypodermic syringes, are a major public health concern and exacerbate fear of crime in Santa Cruz," the report states.
The report compiled an impressive amount of recent data and statistics. One statistic that jumps out is about the Santa Cruz County Jail's revolving door for repeat offenders.
VIDEO: Task force exposes lack of consequences for repeat offenders
"Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Nate started smoking marijuana at nine.
After six months of research, the task force released its final report on Nov. Dec. 3.
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