SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Employees at Orange County’s main center of government are being offered security escorts to their cars amid a sharp increase in the local homeless population.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the move comes after a county employee at the Santa Ana Civic Center was hit on the head by a homeless woman while leaving work last month.
While Orange County officials say they have yet to see a spike in crime in the area, some Civic Center employees have expressed concerns over the attack.
A letter was sent out to employees as a reminder until long-term safety solutions can be found, Landa reported.
The unidentified victim was shaken up by the incident, but is reportedly back to work, according to Landa.
Ruth Wardwell, spokesperson for the County’s executive office, said deputies are happy to escort any worker to and from the parking lot at the Civic Center.
“The escort option really does provide a level of convenience to those who have to walk through the area or walk around it, and an added level of security,” said Wardwell.
Some critics have blamed the California state inmate transfer program under Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment plan for the jump in the number of homeless encampments at the Civic Center site over the last couple of years.
A group of local homeless people have organized the Civic Center Roundtable to, among other things, help create access to housing, hot meals at local restaurants, and a moratorium of public camping and/or storage tickets within and around the Civic Center.