Drug concerns lead to temporary closure of Mission Plaza
September 3, 2011
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The City of San Luis Obispo placed a 24-hour ban on loitering in Mission Plaza from 4 p.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Friday in attempt to curb criminal activity.
Also prohibiting loitering by “the globe” along the creek between Chorro and Nipomo streets, the police action came as a response to continuous drug and alcohol use, as well as methamphetamine sales in the designated areas, according to San Luis Obispo police lieutenant Keith Storton.
“An element that hangs out there causes a lot of problems and complaints,” Storton said.
Despite recent arrests and the temporary loitering ban, Storton said the “element” would probably return to its regular activity in the Mission Plaza area.
“A lot of what police do are temporary solutions to long term problems,” Storton said. “At least it stops people from selling drugs and using alcohol in that particular time.
The 24-hour prohibition, which happened to coincide with Farmers’ Market, did not only prevent drug users and dealers from congregating in Mission Plaza. One family was ordered by police to move while eating dinner in the plaza during Farmers’.
Although the police department orchestrated the temporary loitering ban, the official orders came from Director of Parks and Recreation Shelly Stanwyck, in accordance with municipal code.
Despite the recent increase in gang activity in the county, gangs are not thought to be involved in the drug sales along the creek and in Mission Plaza.