I was driving through Pacific Beach on Saturday, September 14, when I noticed a small group of people on Garnet Avenue clad in orange vests and armed with trash tongs. I stopped to chat.
Turned out the group was working to have “quality-of-life crimes” erased from their records. Examples of quality-of-life crimes include drinking or smoking at the beach, walking a dog without a leash, and urinating in public.
“You have to be eligible...can’t have any felonies...but the violation gets removed from your record once you complete the program,” says Discover PB executive director Andy Hanshaw.
For those interested, the program has two parts, according to Hanshaw. “For two hours on a Thursday evening, offenders meet with community members to understand the impact their crimes have on residents. They’ll hear from a trauma nurse and local police officers. Then, for four hours on a Saturday, they’ll help clean up the community.”
Hanshaw said there are between 25 and 30 eligible violators monthly. The program is a partnership with Discover PB, the city attorney, and the Park & Recreation Department.