CHP officers look to help the homeless to make highways safer

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-05 21:51:21-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The California Highway Patrol spent Friday looking for homeless camps along San Diego-area highways. However, the officers were looking to help instead of making any arrests.

CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said the homeless camps along state-owned highway and off-ramps are illegal.  He added they also pose an incredible danger to drivers and the transients.

A man died after he was hit while trying to cross Interstate 5 in the South Bay Thursday night.  Officer Sanchez said the homeless could also be hurt if car accidents land in their camps.

“It happened on the 54 a couple years ago. It happened on the I-8,” he said.

Three CHP officers contacted several homeless men Thursday and warned them they needed to clear their camps within the next 72 hours before CalTrans crews came through the area. Instead of arresting them, officers handed them information on where to find help and who to call.

“We also have to be sympathetic to that and try to as best we can help them,” Sanchez said.

A CalTrans spokeswoman said the State of California has spent $430,000 since July clearing out enough debris to fill 300 dump trucks.