Hackensack quality-of-life crackdown sweeps up homeless

HACKENSACK — A 2-month-old effort by the Hackensack Police Department to take action against quality-of-life crimes has homeless people feeling harassed, the Record reported.

As part of the initiative, police are patrolling places where the homeless gather, stopping them, checking for identification, running warrants and issuing summonses for violations.

The effort is for the good of the community and the homeless, Michael Mordaga, Hackensack Police Director, said. But Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services center in Hackensack, said arresting the homeless discourages them from coming to the shelter and getting help.

The initiative comes as Hackensack attempts to revitalize its downtown. In June, officials broke ground on a $19.2 million, 222-unit luxury apartment complex on a State Street block that had been mostly left empty in recent years.

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