New neighborhood policing division takes aim at homelessness issues

SAN DIEGO -- Officials have formed a new division of the San Diego Police Department in an effort to tackle concerns from residents and business owners that often go unaddressed -- especially those related to homelessness.

The new Neighborhood Policing Division will be split into two sections: outreach and enforcement.

The outreach unit consists of a Homeless Outreach and Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, tasked with connecting homeless individuals with services such as shelter, vaccinations, mental health or addiction treatment, and other forms of medical aid.

Meanwhile, the enforcement section will address neighborhood complaints, such as repeat offenders and debris that accumulates in streets, canyons, parks and highways.

While the Neighborhood Policing officers will largely focus on issues related to homelessness, SDPD says the division will also be helpful for addressing other quality of life issues for communities, such as graffiti and prostitution.

For these non-emergency issues, the department says residents should notify police with the "Get it Done" app, which is available on both iPhone and Android devices, or by emailing complaints to neighborhoodpolicing@pd.sandiego.gov.

Non-emergency crimes can also be called in to (619) 531-2000.