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Homelessness

Quick Facts about Homelessness:

  • Homelessness is an extremely complex social problem that impacts the quality of life in our community and most other cities across the country.
  • There are no easy solutions, as the causes of homelessness are multi-faceted and frequently outside the control of government agencies.
  • The Turlock Police Department does have a role in dealing with people, including the homeless, when their activities are unlawful or otherwise impact the health and safety of the community.
  • The following information is provided to assist businesses and individual community members in properly addressing incidents and concerns regarding the homeless and related quality of life issues while ensuring that the rights of all individuals are protected.
    • Being homeless is not a crime.
    • A person’s actions are far more relevant than their appearance or station in life.
    • However, do not hesitate to summon the police if a crime has occurred or when a person behaves in a threatening manner, whether the person is homeless or not.

For information on how to help the homeless please go to: Turlock Gospel Mission
WeCare Turlock
United Samaritans

Panhandling

  • It is not illegal to ask for money. However, it is illegal to harass or threaten others.
  • It is illegal to sit, stand, or loiter on a public median
  • Many of those individuals who panhandle are NOT homeless.

Recommendations for Preventing Problems in and around City Parks and Businesses

  • Use caution in dealing with any strangers regardless of their appearance.
  • Avoid confrontation and maintain your distance from strangers.
  • Instead of offering food and money to the homeless, provide positive insight towards a local Non-Profit Organization that may offer food and shelter for the homeless in need.
  • The City of Turlock does not permit anyone to camp or loiter on City Park property. If unauthorized camping or loitering is occurring, contact the Turlock Police Department. TMC 10-1-11 TMC 5-20
  • The City of Turlock does not allow anyone to store shopping carts, bedding, or personal belongings on City Park property. TMC 5-20 TMC 5-23
    • The Turlock Neighborhood Services division oversees the removal of property that is stored on public grounds. However, it is unlawful to remove the stored property without proper notice. Therefore, a letter is given to the property owner advising that the property will be removed if not removed within one week.
    • Property removed from public grounds is stored for 90 days to allow the owner to claim their property.
  • Report graffiti and other vandalism to the Turlock Fire Department’s Neighborhood Services Department.

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT CRIME ON YOUR PROPERTY

  • Call 209-668-1200 for non-emergencies such as suspicious activity to report a crime to the Turlock Police Department.
  • Start a Business Watch or Neighborhood Watch Program.
  • Keep exteriors and hallways well-lit during hours of darkness using flood or other appropriate lighting.
  • Make sure doors and windows are locked. Especially those that are out of view such as laundry rooms, basements, storage areas, and outbuildings.
  • Never confront suspicious persons on your own. Call the police.
  • Post “No Trespassing” or “Business Hours” signs on your property so there is no question about your intentions.
  • If the violator leaves before the police arrive, try to remember what the person looked like. Such as: race, sex, age, height, weight, hair color, and style, clothing, items carried, direction of travel, etc.
  • No Trespassing Letter: A citizen may authorize officers of the Turlock Police Department to enter your property and arrest all persons on said property who do not have your written permission to be on said property, or who are committing any offenses in violation of any laws of the State of California or the City of Turlock Municipal Code.

    No Trespassing Letter
    Download, complete and sign, then mail to Crime Prevention, Turlock Police Department, 244 N. Broadway, Turlock, CA 95380.

  • Citizen’s Arrest: A citizen’s arrest is an arrest made by a person who is not a sworn Law Enforcement Officer. Although every citizen is empowered to “arrest” wrongdoers in certain circumstances, individuals looking to make a citizen’s arrest act at their own risk.
    • Apprehending a criminal is inherently dangerous and could pose legal and civil liabilities for the citizen making the arrest. Failure to meet the legal requirements for a citizen’s arrest could have devastating consequences for the person making the arrest.
    • When dealing with potential criminals, it is always best to use caution. Often times, observing and reporting a crime, and leaving the arrest for the Law Enforcement Officer is the best response.
    • When a citizen makes an arrest, that citizen becomes the accusing party and will therefore be required to face the accused in court and testify against the defendant.

Related Turlock Municipal Code:

The following Municipal Codes may be used by the Police Department to deal with a variety of situations. When violations of these codes are observed, they should be promptly reported to the Turlock Police Department.

Turlock Municipal CodeDefinition
TMC 10-1-11Camping prohibited outside of designated areas
TMC 5-20-03Camping in vehicles prohibited on public property from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
TMC 5-23Unauthorized or illegal possession of a shopping cart
TMC 4-14-404It shall be unlawful for any person to apply graffiti on any public or private structure located on publicly or privately owned real property within the City of Turlock.
TMC 10-1-10Drinking or possession of an open container of alcohol in public prohibited
TMC 10-1-14Littering in public place prohibited
TMC 10-1-14Urinating or defecating in public prohibited
TMC 10-1-14Loitering in parking facilities prohibited
TMC 10-1-14Dumpster Diving
TMC 5-26Agressive Panhandling


For more information about homelessness, please contact:

Turlock Police Department
244 N. Broadway
Turlock, CA 95380
(209) 668-5550






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