Sunday, March 4, 2012

Downtown's Intractable Problem with Loiterers

Although serious crimes against persons and property are almost unheard of in downtown Port Angeles (some shoplifting and bad check passing are usually the worst you ever hear about), we do have an ongoing problem with habitual loiterers.   Although I'm not sure I should mention this, most of them hang out right here on Laurel Street, the cross street on which our hotel is located.
Regardless of weather, you can catch these same drab characters lounging around any time of the day or night.  A constant presence loafing across the street from the ferry dock ...
... horsing around  with their kids in                       front of the barber shop...
... flirting amongst themselves in front of the local photo studio...

... or loafing in front the jewelry store (casing the joint?!)  These loiterers just never seem to go away.

Despite the fact that port Angeles has perfectly sound anti-loitering ordinances on the books, repeated calls to the local constabulary have done no good.   "If they're not causing a disturbance, an officer will not respond."

Yada yada yada.  After a few times of hearing that, we've given up on getting some help from the men in blue.  We've even tried sending them photographic evidence that some of the loiterers are pan-handling and littering.  (The police have stopped returning our calls, in any event.)

Of course, we've gone out and tried to talk some sense into these loiterers, suggesting perhaps they could take a walk, asking them if they don't have anything better to do with their apparently limitless time.  We've tried appealing to their altruistic side (ha! as if!) suggesting they might find some civic activity for which they could volunteer, but they have proven immovable.

It's almost as if everything you say to them just goes in one ear and out the other.   But since none of them seem to have ears, perhaps that's a poor analogy.

Sheesh.  It's like talking to a statue.

One almost has to have grudging respect for this tireless group, determined in rain, shine or snow to fritter away their hours on the streets of downtown, with a hardened sense of silent determination.

Steely resolve, you might say.