Is camping in the City of Sacramento always illegal?

Right now the city doesn't have a designated property for homeless individuals tents or pods. (July 24, 2017)

According to Sacramento Police Department, it is illegal to camp in city limits.

Sacramento Sgt. Matthew McPhail said although it is illegal, maximum enforcement isn't the norm and the department is trying a different approach. 

"The work that we have been doing over the past few years has been services first and stability focused. In rare circumstances, you will find somebody that is services resistant," McPhail said. 

We saw it first hand while driving on Broadway, Sac PD Impact Team officers were moving out an encampment of four men. 

"These are the nice officers, the other officers aren't so homeless friendly, its all about the complaints," one of the homeless men named Brother Jay said. 

This complaint was from a nearby business owner who has had trouble with some of the men in the past. He said his restaurant's IRON and Willie's Burgers have been vandalized. 

"It is very frustrating, it;s not that I am not sympathetic to it but look at what happens," he said. 

The two officers talking to the four men were not writing citations, just asking the group if they needed services and told them to move on and stop hassling passersby. Two out of the four agreed to services and all of them packed up and moved on.

All of them said they would just camp somewhere else because right now the city doesn't have a designated property for their tents and pods. 

"The city for some time now has had discussions about is it viable or reasonable to have safe ground locations or a lot that is designated for people without being cited," McPhail said. 

All of the ideas are still in the air, for now the Sgt. said the City does not have any area where camping is legal. There are private property owners that do allow homeless encampments but those are separate.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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