General Crime

* Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies Watching Demonstrating Homeless Campers

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Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies will continue to visit the areas where the homeless camp demonstrators are camping, but they are simply documenting activities right now, an official said. On Thursday, six deputies went to the steps of the county courthouse, where the campers have been frequenting for the past five weeks, to count how many campers were there and to document activity, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dan Campos said.The census was being done as part of the overall investigation of the demonstration, he said. On Thursday there were 40 people, and the last time deputies visited there were 39, but some of the same people weren’t there both times, he said. No citations have been issued.The sheriff’s office and city and county officials are working on a plan of how and what to do about the demonstration, but are staying mum on details of the plan. “We’re not speaking much about what our plan is,” Campos said. Demonstrators began camping at the county’s justice building July 4 in protest to the city council’s decision to ban camping in the city. Their chosen county-owned patch of grass has brought into question the enforcement of the city’s policy. Complaints by county workers and others about the activities, behavior, and trash of the demonstrators led to the sheriff’s department’s attention to the area.

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