A program called Homeless Outreach Court that encourages transients to take steps to get off the street is coming to North Orange County this fall.
Hosted at First Christian Church in Anaheim, the program will enable homeless people who’ve received citations for minor infractions to take steps to have the citations expunged from their records, Fullerton Police officials said Wednesday.
“If they complete program, the ticket goes away,” said Lt. Alex Bastreri at FPD’s monthly crime-strategy meeting. “It’s a good way to help homeless people… We’re giving them yet another opportunity to work their way out of it.
The sessions are tentatively scheduled to run once a month on Wednesdays at 3 p.m.
Fullerton PD already employs a Homeless Liaison team, where officers partner with county mental-health workers and the non-profit Coast-to-Coast to offer homeless people a myriad of services, ranging from connecting them to drug rehabilitation to hotel vouchers to transportation to family members willing to offer shelter.
The team has reunited dozens of homeless people with relatives from around the country.
A homeless court already exists at 909 N. Main Street in Santa Ana. Officer JD “John” DeCaprio said he has wanted for some time to provide the service closer to Fullerton – because transportation is an issue for the population.
“The goal is to remove the barriers,” he said. “And give people who want help every opportunity to get it.”
Serving the homeless wasn’t the only topic on the police department’s agenda at the meeting.
Detectives made arrests in three robberies, and are actively investigating two others – including one at a pharmacy where the suspects jumped the counter to steal prescription medications.
Police officials believe the robbers are connected to similar robberies at pharmacies in neighboring cities.
Police leaders also presented Officer Billy Phu with a plaque for his work recruiting 11 new police officers.
Lt. Scott Rudisil said he’s had the opportunity to work with many of the new officers.
“I’ve been impressed with the quality and caliber of new officers and how they are progressing,” he said. “They are doing outstanding work and providing good customer service.”