Las Vegas police have begun handing out pamphlets to day laborers discouraging trespassing and other nuisances to decrease the number of complaint calls they get about the workers who hang out near valley nurseries and home improvement stores.
“We’re trying to proactively deal with the issue,” officer Jacinto Rivera said. “We put in information about laws concerning the common reasons businesses would call us: trespassing, littering, urinating in public and being a nuisance in a building.”
Some business owners have long complained that the day laborers who loiter outside in search of work bring litter, destroy landscaping and harass customers. Police are frequently called to run interference.
The pamphlets, available in English and Spanish, list Nevada laws against trespassing and littering and tell day laborers they could be jailed or be cited if they do so. They say the police “respect and appreciate those who choose to work and make an honest living.”
Police do not “want to disrupt your life,” the pamphlets say. “However, if you commit illegal acts the police have an obligation to protect the community from your unlawful behavior.”
Police printed “a couple thousand” of the pamphlets, Rivera said. The Home Depot and Star Nursery helped pay for them, he said.
Home Depot’s corporate office e-mailed a statement in response to questions about the pamphlets.
“Like many businesses in the community, The Home Depot maintains a policy of non-solicitation at its stores by individuals and organizations not affiliated with our company,” the statement said in part. “The Home Depot cooperates with local law enforcement officials who take the lead in addressing trespassing issues on our property.”
Star Nursery declined to comment through its attorney.
The nursery last year briefly erected fences around most of its Las Vegas Valley locations to keep day laborers off its properties.
It removed the fences after being cited by the city and county for putting them up without a permit.
Day laborers who spoke to the Review-Journal at the time said the fences weren’t necessary because they stayed on the public sidewalk, picked up after themselves and did not harass customers.
Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis@review
journal.com or 702-383-0285.