An ex-police officer from Oceanside, California, is raising the alarm over the state’s growing homeless population, contradicting Governor Gavin Newsom’s claim that a housing shortage is to blame.
Rather, he stated that the problem is largely attributable to a skyrocketing drug abuse problem that has led to an increase in overdose deaths and the emergence of homeless tent encampments on city sidewalks, storefronts, and parks in cities across the state, thanks to the adoption of left-wing ‘no-fault’ drug laws.
Rick Campbell, who served as an Oceanside police officer for ten years, wrote in a Newsweek column that the state’s far-left policies are causing an increase in substance abuse and homelessness.
“Lack of affordable housing is a problem, but it’s not why we have such a huge increase in homeless camps and mentally ill people in California,” he wrote. “I believe we have a massive drug addiction crisis, and no longer any tools to force anybody to change.”
“We also have a huge mental health crisis and no tools to force them into treatment. Meth use and mental illness are peas in a pod. So many of the people I took in for mental health holds—a 5150—told me their mental health deteriorated when they started using the drug… There aren’t words to describe the horrors I saw. And yet, in my opinion, civil rights advocates continue to stand in the way of reform,” he added.
In an interview with Fox News, he stated that Proposition 36, which was passed in 2000, offered drug offenders both a carrot and a stick by instituting drug courts that were frequently used as alternatives to prison time.
“If people were caught [with] simple possession for meth, heroin or cocaine, they’d be offered the option for treatment via drug court rather than going to prison,” Campbell told co-host Bill Hemmer. “But they have this felony charge hanging over their head, so it was kind of like instead of all carrot begging people to stop using drugs and use treatment, there was also kind of a stick there which was necessary to motivate them.”
In 2014, however, voters approved Proposition 47, which effectively restricted law enforcement by removing the carrot-and-stick approach and officers’ ability to clear the streets.
“All those felony charges for drugs were reduced to misdemeanors, and now the police out here can simply write people a ticket,” Campbell said. “They aren’t able to book them into jail when they have drugs in San Diego County.”
Governor Gavin Newsom acknowledged his responsibility for the escalating homelessness crisis in California during an interview with Sean Hannity earlier this week. His $15 billion proposal to provide secure housing for homeless individuals was highlighted.
“The state of California was not involved in the homeless issue. We got involved. We’re holding cities and counties accountable,” he said. “I’m suing cities when they’re not producing housing. I want accountability. I take responsibility for this.”
“This is personal to me, I love this state, and I don’t like what’s happening with the encampments,” he continued.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
Campbell said it was good of Newsom to step up, but he said efforts to address the problem have so far fallen flat. CONTINUE READING…