The latest cause for pause in enforcement of The City’s controversial sit-lie ordinance? The print shop.
“The entire department has been trained up on policies and procedures,” involving enforcement of the new ordinance, which prohibits sitting or lying on public sidewalks, police Chief Jeff Godown said Sunday. “We’re just waiting for the cards to come back from the printer.”
The items Godown was referring to are multilingual cards offering homeless and other social services, which officers will present to people they make contact with as part of the enforcement.
Police had initially intended to roll out enforcement in February, but delays occurred training officers on appropriate enforcement of the measure, and for a public education campaign.
Godown said Sunday he expected enforcement to begin “sometime this month.”
The ordinance, passed by voters in November, was intended to address threatening and nuisance behavior, but homeless advocates have worried that it could be used to target all homeless people.
The ordinance bans sitting or lying on sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with exceptions for disabled people in wheelchairs, children in strollers, medical emergencies, parades, protests, lawful sidewalk businesses and sitting in line, as long as pedestrians aren’t blocked.
After an initial warning, fines could range from $50 to $500, and could include community service, or possible jail time for repeat offenses.