Homeless in Visalia charged cart fines

by MADDY HEESZEL

Staff Writer

This photograph was taken by Maddy Heeszel

This photograph was taken by Maddy Heeszel

Last month, the city of Visalia released a new law stating that homeless could no longer push around their belongings in shopping carts. Police now have the right to fine homeless $50 for having a cart. Homeless people are given the option to either store their personal items at a rescue mission or store them in a large trash bag given by the city.

 

It’s understandable that Visalia officials would want to prevent stores’ carts from being taken and would want to find a way to make our city to look more presentable, but a $50 fine for a homeless person? How would they even be able to pay the fine? This new regulation is useless considering that the majority of homeless people would not be able to afford to pay the fines. Could there be a better way to approach this situation?

 

In this case, charging fines would not be any help and would only cause more issues. More and more homeless people would be unable to pay the $50, and it would cause more trouble for them and for our city. A homeless person is homeless for a reason; they have little to no money, therefore, they most likely won’t be able to pay the fines that they are charged. They are fighting for their life with the little money that they do have, and they shouldn’t have to pay $50 of which they can’t afford.

 

Instead of punishing homeless for taking carts, should we find alternatives? Yes, the city is providing trash bags for them so they can carry their belongings, but they’re still taking it as far as to charge them ridiculous fines that they don’t even have the money for. How could we fix this situation?

 

Dogs getting a safety upgrade

by: CHANDLER DARLING

staff writer

People aren’t the only ones who are put in danger when joining law enforcement or the military. In the past few years law enforcement has started training dogs to sniff out drugs or bombs on suspects. With these dangerous missions these dogs are put through, k-9 dogs are killed by people trying to escape when being sniffed out for drugs or bombs. With the growing danger these dogs are put in, they need better protection against criminals. This is causing an increase in bullet and knife proof vests being funded towards the k-9 dogs. The vest are being government funded, as well as community funded by the locals who support the local police departments.

 

The reason the vests are also bullet as well as knife is a part of the dogs training. They are trained to attack and bite down on the aggressors right arm to cripple him. However with the dogs focusing on the right arm of the aggressor, it leaves his left arm free. This also leaves the dog open to a knife attack from the free arm. Thus, the knife proof part of these new vests come into play, allowing superior protection from this danger. They are also comfortable for the dogs as well and not at all cumbersome. They have a unique design to insure a proper fit for the dog. Also, the vests are a three piece design with adjustable Velcro and elastic straps at the shoulders and for the girth of the dog. This ensures the dog will have a snug, safe, and comfortable fit for their vests.

However, the safety does come at a fairly hefty price. The vest costs about 970.00 dollars each for the protection these dogs received. However it can be an investment as well, not just for the dogs safety but for the fact it takes extensive training, time, and money for these dogs to be ready for use in the field. So the vest can be considered a long term investment in the animal. Either way there are new ways and methods to help the k-9 cops keep their canine partners safe from criminals.