#Local Government
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Sonoma County Sheriff's Department
United States of America

While we are a compassionate community, our homeless problem has become out of control and unmanageable. This has been tolerated for far too long and needs to be fixed. The small remote lower river communities have a significantly disproportionate number of homeless people at about 2.5 - 3.3 times more per capita than Santa Rosa, and 15 - 20 times the national average. Our remote and environmentally sensitive location and infrastructure is the least equipped to deal with it . Our precious Russian River that is the life blood of this community is on an EPA list of federally polluted water ways, with illegal homeless encampments and human waste being identified as a contributing factor. We are a tourist based economy that relies on the sense of a welcoming peaceful community and our beautiful environment as our main attractions. We know that homelessness is not a crime, and we can't arrest our way out of the problem, however a balance needs to be restored between the rights of all citizens enjoying law and order, and protecting tourism and our environment. Our goal is not to have the homeless be unjustly harassed by law enforcement or to contribute to the gentrification of our towns, rather to preserve what is already great about our towns, and to make our communities happy, healthy, and safe for all of the full-time residents and welcomed visitors. We feel that having a dedicated deputy in our community to work along side service providers exclusively on the homeless issue is a significant part of the solution, and that the sheriff's department in return needs the support of the community in order to be successful in their duties.

We respectfully ask the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and the Sonoma County Sheriff to dedicate a full-time deputy to work as a community police officer, dealing exclusively with homeless related issues in the lower river communities. We pledge to support your lawful efforts to protect the rights of all citizens and visitors of our community.

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The We need a dedicated deputy at the river for homeless issues petition to Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Sonoma County Sheriff's Department was written by Guerneville Community Alliance and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.