Safe and clean public places are a high community priority. In November 2011, the City Council adopted the Safe & Clean Initiative (PDF) to redirect limited City resources and utilize partnerships so that public places remain safe and clean for everyone to enjoy.
The approach to Safe & Clean public places has five core elements that strive to align city, private, business and non-profit resources and focuses on condition, uses and behaviors.
- Focused police presence with an emphasis on behaviors, which can include vandalism, drug dealing, drinking in public, urinating in public, physical violence, aggressive panhandling, and other types of harassment. The Ventura Police Department has teams of Officers in a unit called the Patrol Task Force who engage in restorative policing and street outreach. To report suspicious behavior, contact the Ventura Police Department non-emergency phone at 805-650-8010.
- Maintain clean public spaces via the Safe & Clean Team and partnerships with other City departments and the Downtown Ventura Ambassadors. Call the Safe & Clean Hotline 805-677-3900 to report debris in public spaces, parks/public bathroom issues, graffiti, potholes and code violations.
- Activate public spaces by encouraging park use and recreation for the entire community to enjoy. Anti-social activity can occur in places where there is lack of activity. The City has created a Special Event Permit Fund to assist in creating activities in public places.
- Strengthen collaboration with county, social service and faith-based organizations. In an era when local government can no longer subsidize alone all the services needed- we are working together, more collaboratively with partnerships. This includes strengthening social and faith-based collaborations to provide help to those who want to help. Some of our partners include Catholic Charities, County of Ventura, Downtown Ventura Organization/Downtown Ventura Partners, Project Understanding, Salvation Army, Turning Point, Ventura Social Services Task Forces and many local faith-based groups.
- Reinforce giving to services through educational efforts and reinforcing social services. The hand-up not a hand-out philosophy encourages giving to local agencies rather than panhandlers. Panhandling is not illegal; however, for people living on the streets it perpetuates the problem. Learn more about panhandling alternatives and act responsibly.