Red Phone: What do police do about people living under a bridge?

Red Phone

“Dear Red Phone, I want to know if you could put something in about the bridge on Howsland Street near Church Street. There’s a bunch of garbage and a bunch of drug addicts that live under the bridge. I want to know why the city and Gilroy Police Department have done nothing about it. Thank you.”

“Dear Bunch of Problems, We checked in with the Gilroy Police Department’s new public information officer Sgt. Pedro Espinoza on this one. He said when the police department receives a complaint or sees these type of encampments, they send their quality of life liaison officer to confirm the location and arrange for a clean-up.

“We have to post a warning of a ‘clean-up’ to allow the responsible parties ample time to remove their belongings and to plan accordingly,” he said.

The GPD partners with the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Gilroy Department of Public Works, to tackle this location (Miller Slough) which has been posted and scheduled for clean-up on Oct. 1. 

He said an officer or officers will be on hand that day to “ensure the safety of the clean-up crew and to collect/retain any property that may appear not to be trash. Anyone that is encountered will be offered resources,” he said.

And, as the law goes, those in violation of the municipal code, and/or State of California Codes may potentially face criminal charges, he added. There you go caller, hope that answers your question.


Too much water, too many dead spots

“Dear Red Phone, El Roble Park in Gilroy is being drowned in excess water. They have a beautiful walking path that has been flooded for three weeks. The sprinklers are on seven days a week, there are dead spots where the sprinklers aren’t working. But there’s too much water spoiling the nice park, drowning it. Doesn’t make sense. I want answers.”

Dear In Over Her Head, it appears the area you’re referring to is a “joint use” area shared by the City of Gilroy and Gilroy Unified School District. According to Carlos Pina, the GUSD manager of maintenance and operations most of the park is on GUSD property and GUSD is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of most of the “park,” he said. 

The tennis courts and surrounding area farthest from the school belong to the City.

Pina said the grass has been worn down by heavy use over the years, particularly the areas immediately outside of the gates that lead from the school playground onto the park area. The park is used on a regular basis by the school children on school days, and by the surrounding residents in the evenings and on weekends.

“GUSD is exploring a more permanent solution, which will entail installing asphalt or concrete paths from the school playground onto portions of the park. We are in the process of requesting proposals from asphalt/concrete companies and hope to resolve these concerns in the next few weeks,” Pina said.

In year’s past, the maintenance and operations department would fill the low spots with dirt, sand or wood chips. “But this has apparently been a temporary fix,” he said.

So there you are valued caller – El Roble Park is expecting concrete path to remedy the problem. Thanks for question.