First and foremost, it is important to recognize that being homeless is not a crime. Officers typically will evaluate each incident involving homeless individuals and determine the best option for getting the behavior to stop. This could include counseling, referral to services, warnings, or arrest.
The Woodland Police Department has arrested homeless individuals for a multitude of crimes to include illegal camping, trespass, defecating or urinating in public, public intoxication, drug crimes, and many other violations of the California Penal and Vehicle Codes. Thus far in 2018, officers have arrested 997 homeless for various crimes which amounts to 43% of total adult arrests.
While many of the illegal activities sometimes associated with homeless individuals are currently classified as misdemeanors (and amount to little more than a citation), the Woodland Police Department and Yolo County’s District Attorney’s Office are working to ensure that individuals who are repeatedly cited for offenses, have outstanding warrants and/or have accumulated excessive “failure to appear” violations are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.