Drug concerns lead to temporary closure of Mission Plaza

September 3, 2011


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.



  1. mkaney says:

    What are you all smoking? I was born here in 1972 and my earliest memories of mission plaza includes transients and strange people lurking about. This is STILL a VERY safe city, and I don’t feel any more threatened here today than I have in the past. Either you people all live in the worst neighborhoods possible, or you’re paranoid.

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
    • TOK1 says:

      mkaney, YOU ARE a MORON! IF YOU THINK THE PLAZA IS NOTA PROBLEM. It has been and will be until will contro;l that environment. Look at the history of what it is and what it was……before our ignorant mayor and her cohorts made it an ACLU issue. U don’t get it and hve no understanding of wha in It has happenned to our city. Waterboarding is a good thing if it saves lives. U people need to put your assses on the line and see how you feel then. In ignorance there is bliss. entitlements are ur credo.

      (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  2. Crusader says:

    Remember when all the losers used to congregate near the giant fig tree in Santa Barbara? Finally SB had enough. SLO is know as an “easy touch” in the underworld. Plenty of places to hang out and harass people without concern for reprisal. Get tough for a while. They’ll learn and it will become known that SLO is a place to avoid.

    The SLOPD is showing it worthlessness if it cannot get control of Mission Plaza. We can shut down Mardi Gras but we can’t even secure the very heart of the city. Shameful.

    (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
    • everyman says:

      I never really thought about that, but you are absolutely right. The SLOPD is showing its worthlessness if cannot control Mission Plaza. This should be a high priority.

      It is no longer a good place to take kids.

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
      • Crusader says:

        Making the plaza a non-loitering place is by no means a great solution but it’s one that should have been taken before THESE PEOPLE (yes, THESE PEOPLE — aggressive druggies/pushers) got a foothold here in SLO. Now that they have it will take some inconvenient and fairly aggressive actions to let them know they are not welcome in our town.

        Years ago law enforcement officers had respect — because they earned it. They would have cleared the plaza once or twice and the word would have been out — don’t hang out there. Now local law enforcement is looked upon as overpaid, bloated crybabies — who have almost no respect. They are a big part of the problem.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. GeminiSappho says:

    Lots of public/private places have used classical music played over speakers to deter loitering. Maybe this would be an effective?

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  4. SLOBIRD says:

    This is becoming the norm all over California. Look at places you use to go to 5, 10 years ago and enjoyed, felt safe, no threats, etc. Now, you can’t go to a grocery store without worrying someone will use their cell phone after you lock it and open it up and take what ever. In Paso, cars get stolen, shootings, stabbings, beatings, robbery in volume, Yep, the SLO County climate has truly changed, will continue to change, change you do not want to believe in.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  5. Crusader says:

    “The homeless, the beggers, the druggies, the unconscious, the you-name-its” have NEVER taken over the Old Mission. They are slowly taking over Mission Plaza though.

    The SLO City Council needs to fix this. The band of losers/druggies/pushers hang-out by the Murray Adobe and the bathrooms in the plaza. This is clearly a transient group who are VERY readily identifiable by primarily how they act but also how they dress and how they groom themselves. They are loud, rude and menacing. These are not simply bums — they’re troublemakers and they are EASY to spot.

    Just make the plaza NO LOITERING for as long as it takes. As soon as they gather arrest them — I’m sure some adjoining business owners would be happy to reach-out to the cops. Soon the word will get out through the grapevine that the plaza is no longer a cool place to “hang” it will end. It might take a while and in the mean time decent people might be prohibited from using the plaza as it should be used but just do it already.

    (17) 17 Total Votes - 17 up - 0 down

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