Lebanon Police Department announces Community Support Initiative

The Lebanon Police Department is excited to announce the launch of the “Community Support Initiative,” a comprehensive program aimed at addressing homelessness, mental health, and addiction in our community. This initiative underscores our commitment to safety and support for all residents, including business and property owners impacted by violations of pedestrian safety and trespassing ordinances.

The Lebanon Police Department has announced the launch of the “Community Support Initiative,” a comprehensive program aimed at addressing homelessness, mental health, and addiction in our community. This initiative underscores our commitment to safety and support for all residents, including business and property owners impacted by violations of pedestrian safety and trespassing ordinances.
Chief Jerry Harrison emphasized the importance of community involvement in thoughtfully and purposefully addressing these situations. “This issue is not unique to our community. Many violators of these ordinances are often individuals struggling with homelessness, mental health issues, or addiction. We are not criminalizing homelessness; we are preventing criminal behavior, no matter who commits it. Our goal is to provide these individuals with the necessary support and resources to address the root causes of these challenges,” Harrison said.
Providing Solutions Through Community Support

Chief Harrison stated, “We are partnering with local organizations to identify and implement the most effective ways to serve at-risk communities. By working closely with these organizations, we aim to provide comprehensive solutions to the problems of homelessness and mental illness that affect both citizens and property owners.”

Compassionate Enforcement and Resource Referrals

“Our approach begins with compassion and support,” Harrison explained. “Initial contacts with individuals violating pedestrian safety and trespassing ordinances will focus on providing resources and referrals to local organizations that can address their needs. We believe that offering help and support is the first step towards positive change. However, continued violations may lead to enforcement actions to ensure community safety.”

Supporting Property Owners

Harrison acknowledged the concerns of property owners regarding loitering, panhandling, and trespassing. “To address these issues, we are enforcing relevant ordinances and accepting letters of enforcement from property owners, which authorize the police to take action against trespassers,” he said. “Property owners can use signage to indicate no loitering or trespassing and submit a Letter of Enforcement to authorize police intervention. Forms are available at the Lebanon Police Department.”

Pedestrian Safety Ordinance

“For the safety of pedestrians, our ordinance forbids individuals from being on medians and in the roadway except to cross,” Harrison said.

“Pedestrians cannot approach cars, and drivers cannot offer anything to pedestrians. Violators may receive citations to prevent unsafe behaviors such as panhandling in the roadway. There are exceptions for charitable organizations that undergo safety training and obtain a city permit.”

Encouraging Community Support

“We encourage residents to volunteer or donate to reputable local organizations through the Lebanon Area Foundation, which supports local initiatives addressing homelessness, mental health, and addiction,” Chief Harrison advised.

“Direct giving often perpetuates unsafe behaviors and does not help individuals improve their situations,” he added. “Visit lafcares.org to learn more about available organizations and their specific missions.”

Residents are also urged to guide individuals experiencing homelessness to contact these organizations or the Lebanon Police Department for assistance.

“By connecting them to appropriate resources, we can provide meaningful support and foster a more compassionate community,” Harrison said.

“We can’t arrest our way out of this problem. We are partnering with local organizations to provide supportive services that can change lives if people make the choice,” Harrison emphasized. “Together, we can make Lebanon a safer, more compassionate place for everyone.”