Police Chief: Ordinance Designed To Deal With Homeless

ROSELLE PARK, N.J. (1010 WINS) — Getting some shuteye in one New Jersey town could land you in hot water, depending on where you lay your head, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports.

In Roselle Park, it is against the law and you could be fined or arrested for sleeping in public.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

One resident couldn’t help but laugh when she heard the news.

“Isn’t that a little crazy? I mean, if you fall asleep, like if I were to sit down on this bench and wait for a bus and I fell asleep, that’s against the law?” she said. “Don’t you think that’s a little crazy?”

Even though that’s the letter of the law, Police Chief Paul Morrison said drowsy drivers and napping babies need not worry.

“This ordinance was amended to help assist the police in addressing the increasing problem of homeless people sleeping on benches,” Morrison said.

Business owners said they’re a nuisance and eyesore, but one resident disagreed with the adopted solution.

“It would be easier if they would help them out,” he said.







Comments (254)
  1. RICH says:

    Hey I have an idea why dont we help the homless instead of condeming them!

    1. Steejans says:

      So noboby should look for a job because you will help them.

    2. O-blame-a says:

      We can help them by moving them into your house and giving them your money. When they go through that, we can find a new moron to help them.

  2. darrell7887 says:

    iIs there an exemption for federal employees???

  3. Scarlette says:

    As if it isn’t bad enough that they are homeless, now they can’t even take a nap in a park! Next time you go to the park to enjoy a stroll, take a blanket with you and give it to a homeless person is you come accross one sleeping on a bench. Be sure that the blanket is really pretty, that should solve the eye sore problem.

    1. Scarlette says:

      Typo Correction: … give it to a homeless person IFyou …

  4. cindinator says:

    I would help them out……out of this country and perhaps world……

  5. davec says:

    ““Isn’t that a little crazy? I mean, if you fall asleep, like if I were to sit down on this bench and wait for a bus and I fell asleep, that’s against the law?” she said. “Don’t you think that’s a little crazy?””

    heres whats WRONG with this and every other such STUPID LAW. Its TARGETED at certain people – SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT.

    so much for everyone being equal under the LAW.

    As usual, CORRUPT Government retaliating against those who cannto defend themselves.

    It wont CAUSE the RIOTS that are coming, but just constitute another ‘log on the fire’

  6. hooter says:

    If these homeless had been illegals and not veterans they would get a free college education from California.

    1. Mary Owens says:


  7. Ltpar says:

    Articles such as this one provide the “Knee jerk” gang, or the “save my rights” bunch a stage to rant and rave about their point of view. My perception of the issue is, here is a town with a problem of the homeless sleeping in public places and interfering with the rights of others who use them. The public has undoubtedly complained to the Police about the problem. As a result, the local Ordinance was drafted to provide the Police with a tool to be kept in their toolbox to be used when needed. Application of discretion and good judgment have always been part of a Police Officer’s decision making process and I would see nothing different here. An Officer will have no trouble distinguishing between a senior citizen resting at the park in the sun with his eyes closed as opposed to a homeless person stretched out on a park bench. Yes, we as a society need to do more for those less fortunate Americans who have no home, but that is another story.

    1. jess says:

      No, it’s “not another story”. Homelessness IS the story. Why don’t they just make being homeless illegal at this point?? You think they like sleeping on the benches?You think that they chose that over a nice warm bed? This helps NO ONE. It certainly doesn’t help combat homelessness. Not allowing someone to sleep on a park bench does nothing for that issue. It doesn’t help tax payers who are paying the salary of the cop who will be wasting his time writing tickets. Really? There was nothing else that cop could be doing? Since apparently rapes, robberies and murders are inexistant in that town, I guess not. Maybe those cops should be thanking their lucky stars that is he only crime they have in that neighborhood.

      And so whats going to happen here? Cops going to write a bogus ticket that does what? Assigns a fine to the homeless? Are you kidding me?? Yeah, they are going to pop right up and pay that. Then what’s going to happen? Oh yeah, it will double. And then triple. Wasting administrative funds for a ticket that can’t be paid. But they will lie in wait until the guy finally gets a break and they will swoop in and sue him for a $500 ticket for sleeping on a park bench.

    2. val says:

      The solution isn’t to write an unconstitutional law, it’s to write a law that doesn’t violate anybody’s rights. Discretion and good judgment only applies to good cops – it still doesn’t make it impossible for granny to be arrested for dozing on a park bench, and prosecuted. These townspeople have a problem, and they have a personal responsibility to handle it. Unfortunately, government and the police are the first place people run when they have a problem. No wonder we live in such a nanny state.

  8. Jim Tucker says:

    Keep buying China, and soon you will be on a bench too.

  9. Danman says:

    Good thing they ar,nt one man juries Booby,you Jackwagon!!!

  10. Bob says:

    I get called to serve on juries regularly. If anyone sues this city and I’m on the jury, I will give them every dime the city has. I know how to make sure I’m never excluded from juries. Have a nice day.

    1. Ltpar says:

      Bob, fortunately for society, guys with no common sense like yourself are in the minority of most juries. Assuming you pay taxes, those are your dollars that you so freely want to give away. In these tough times, every dollar your City has should go to paying for critical services, not frivolous law suits. As for myself, “Every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast.” Semper Fi.

    2. davec says:



    3. DTs says:

      I’m afraid you’d have to covince the other jurors to do that and by your superior attitude I know you can’t do it.Have a better one.

  11. Danman says:

    Anyone in America that uses the term facist is a typical liberal goof. Wall st is spot on. Being recovering myself i understand the con of MOST of these addict/alcoholics,and its not giving them shopping carts or money.

  12. nyguy30 says:

    what the F is going on in the world???!! It’s like the only thing we are “free” to do these days is pay up…. I’m so sick of living in the twilight zone…. I can’t wait till people are held accountable….

    1. never ending fight for freedom says:

      Sorry, that only happens in hell

  13. Mackdaddy says:

    How many of theses bleeding heart libearls want 3 sterno bums sleeping on their front lawn? Are you going to go and tuck them in at night? Are you going to bring them coffee in the morning? No…I didn’t think so. There are places they could go and sleep. What are they doing at night, apparently not sleeping. And if you don’t agree with me you are racist.

  14. Aunt Bee says:

    When all the degenerate yuppies in here are homeless I wonder if they will still be singing the same tune? Nothing more disgusting than a self righteous McMansion gated community decrepit advising us on the poor.


  15. O. B. Server says:

    Typical mean-spirited fascist police state stuff.

  16. WallStreet says:

    The article makes it clear that this law is not aimed at ordinary citizens who just happen to fall asleep. Rather, it is a law designed to help the police deal with a serious problem of vagrancy. Most of you folks who are criticizing this law probably have never tried to help a homeless person. You don’t understand that many of them are not on the street because of misfortune, but because they choose to spend every dime that comes into their hands on drugs or alcohol. Many of them also refuse to sleep in a shelter. If you think I’m wrong, go find some homeless people. City center, city parks, and bus stations are good places to look. Take them to McDonald’s for dinner or buy them a sack of groceries. Have a conversation with them. Some few will genuinely be trying to find work. I’ve had several people I’ve helped this way proudly stroll up to me and tell me they now have a job and a place to live. The majority however will lie to you, and you will sense that living on the street is a conscious decision on their par. They will tell you they don’t like staying at the shelter because of the crime, or because it’s too far away. They will have a reason they need your money, not a bag of groceries or food. The stories all sound good, but spend some time digging around, talk to taxi drivers and street vendors, people who know what is going on in the neighborhood, and inevitably you will discover that most of these seemingly down-and-out people are getting disability checks but choose to spend them on drugs and alcohol rather than food and a place to live. That is their choice. The government is an enabler of such negative lifestyles, and too many of you do-gooders refuse to admit the truth. In doing so, you harm us all.

    1. MZStitch says:

      Actually, many are mentally ill, and you’re comments made me a bit ill myself.

      1. davec says:

        You should move to CUBA.

        Our NAtion is founded on EQUALITY FOR ALL, regardless of how your twisted mind tries to rationalize it.

        As typical for liars, you use both ad hominem and overgeneralization:

        “:In doing so, you harm us all.”

        You attack anyone who doesnt agree with you, and “overgeneralize” which means you believe if it is true in one case, it si in all.

        Its off to CUBA for you

        The root problem is that it makes SLEEPING a crime instead of dealing with VAGRANCY.

    2. uninformedLuddite says:

      Why is it I don’t believe a word you said?

  17. jacques biggiekok says:

    A State divided into a small number of rich and a large number of poor will always develop a government manipulated by the rich to protect the amenities represented by their property

    1. Gawagaw says:

      Or the lower income 51% will act as a majority and vote that the other 49% must support them.

  18. Solid Citizen says:

    I think the mayor is stepping down on 12/31/10

  19. jacques biggiekok says:

    It should be no surprise that when rich men take control of the government, they pass laws that are favorable to themselves. The surprise is that those who are not rich vote for such people, even though they should know from bitter experience that the rich will continue to rip off the rest of us. Perhaps the reason is that rich men are very clever at covering up what they do.

  20. jacques biggiekok says:

    Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power

    1. jacuey havalittlebrain says:

      Jacques, no matter how many times you rephrase it or say it, you still are an nutcase.

  21. jacques biggiekok says:

    I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed

  22. Dano says:

    Good clear out the bums. Businesses shouldn’t have to deal with them scaring away customers and the public should not be harassed by them either. If all the dogooders commenting want to help why not invite them into your house? Oh, that’s right….. you like your things, wife and/or children to much.

  23. Joseph Kidd says:

    You can’t legislate Obamavilles away.

  24. jacques biggiekok says:

    Fascist USA

  25. jacques biggiekok says:

    The Fascists are coming, The Fascists are coming.

  26. Mike says:

    “It would be easier if they would help them out,” he said.”

    “They” as in someone else? I guess you wouldn’t life a finger to help them out.

  27. Doug says:

    Put them on a bus and send them to California where they would be welcomed with open arms and a bottle of Boone’s Farm.

    1. Theresa Cooper says:

      NO!!! We have enough of our own – we do not need anymore! Really I love this idea and wold be excited to see it in our city!

    2. TXzdy says:

      Thanks, that’s also a great destination. AZ is a tad closer and they have some extra room after booting the illegals. Good on them, aye?!

  28. Jay says:

    You will be known by how you treat the least amongst you.

    1. Mike says:

      Jay, that is why YOU (and I) should do something to help–not expect the government to take care of it, or for “they” to do it. Go do something about it!

  29. politicians suck says:

    how can you make it a crime to sleep in public when the police are always sleeping? Politicians are robbing us blind and this is what we are worried about. How about creating jobs so that these poor people can get back to work and then afford a place to live. I know Im just one mishap from being homeless with my wife cut from her job because of the politicians cutting money from schools. I think everyone should start making use of their phone cameras and take pictures of police sleeping. We really are in trouble in this country when we cannot help our own but just look the other way or worse yet, kick them when they are down!

    1. mohamed Shafeek says:

      I agree we help everyone else but not americans.We make laws for everthing even when someone is down and out on his luck

  30. Ar Amytas says:

    Nothing like urine rolling down a sleeping vagrants pant leg to give your children an idea of the “Real side of Life”!!

    1. TXzdy says:

      That is sick but when I used pickle juice it was very effective. No I did not pour it on the bum just in the place he liked to frequent. It really POed the fella. He got violent and the police had to be called in. Some bums are not happy drunks so be careful with whatever method used to shew them away. It’s best to let the police handle the downouters.

    2. TXzdy says:

      Sorry I read your post again and the first time I thought you where peeing on the vagrant in front of your children. By the way the mean drunk guy I was trying to move on was a rapest (by his own admission) so bear that in mind when with your children and you encouter a drunken bum.

  31. Peter Courtenay Stephens says:


  32. Brent says:

    Too many officials think that they can simply regulate problems out of existence.

    If being homeless is illegal, then their won’t be any more homeless!

    Gun control is another example of this idiocy. “If I make guns illegal, then people won’t use them to commit crimes. They can’t because I told them they couldn’t”

    I’d laugh at the stupidity if I didn’t feel like crying.

  33. John says:

    Hmm, how to humanely deal with the homeless and ensure everybody’s rights are protected? Not an easy solution. Throw the bum in jail for sleeping in public? Where should he sleep? But should he be allowed to sleep anywhere he pleases? Of course not. Should he be permitted to be in a building and act or smell as he pleases? Nope. Throw him in jail because he’s hygenically-challenged? Nope as well.

  34. TXzdy says:

    What next, internment camps for vagrants? Or perhaps what is needed is a final solution. FIRE UP the ovens! Heil! Let’s hear some boot clicking and see some goose stepping jackboots marching in the streets. Ya!, that will be so nice. Then the end.

    1. TXzdy says:

      Of course the law is stupid. All they needed to do was enforce the no loiteriing statutes that are on the books already in all civilized communities. Just wakey wakey and invite the person to move on or be cited for loitering. Yes, do ban the bums in a humane way. Another solution is to give them bus one way tickets to warmer climes like Phenox, AZ Let the compassionate old retirees deal with these down and outers.

    2. rad barfle says:

      Don’t worry…it’s coming to a FEMA camp near you.

  35. Wm says:

    In Houston they passed a law forbidding sleeping in a car.

    1. TXzdy says:

      Now that is stupid. With all the foreclosures many more may need to sleep in a van down by the river or in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

  36. Barry Bin Inhalin says:

    What the Chief wants to say is that vagrants, bums and other desirables should move on. We don’t want you sleping, peeing, puking or wigging out in our town. But he PC police are in contol so he has to use code and say that ALL people will be fined for falling asleep.

    This is what a doo-gooder society looks like. Vote the Dummycrats out at every turn, throw the bums in jail, profile enemies at the airports and for God’s sake, enough with eh seperation of church and state.

  37. Nunya says:

    “Business owners said they’re a nuisance and eyesore, but one resident disagreed with the adopted solution.
    “It would be easier if they would help them out,” he said.”

    I wonder what this resident is personally doing to “help them out”…

  38. tinhightown says:

    Your outlaws are sleeping in public? Arrest them!

  39. otto says:

    “Police Chief Paul Morrison said drowsy drivers and napping babies need not worry.”

    Cool. At least people can still sleep while driving and not have to worry. This Chief will soon be mayor.

    1. pat says:

      Good eye Mr. Sandburg. The homeless are like the lab rats, whatever they are doing to/with the homeless they will sure enough start doing to/with the “non-homeless”.

      1. Bunky says:

        A couple of years from now someone will be sleeping in a hammock outside and the SWAT team will wake him up.
        Or a clever DA will be using sleeping outside as a way to get you to tell on your neighbors.
        I’ll guarantee this eventuality.

  40. Jeff says:

    Just what we need is another Bull-S__t law on the books. Ain’t you law makers got anything better to do? If you ain’t, then get out of office !!! It’s enough you rob us blind as it is.

  41. eileen says:

    Because the homeless are a “nuisance and an eyesore”???? Talk about kicking a person when they’re down

    1. TXzdy says:

      If your not going to kick ’em when they are down when are ya’ goin’ to kick ’em?

  42. Disappointed w/ your stupidity says:

    This law is meant for vagrants who perpetually spend the whole night in public areas where citizens are now afraid to go. Plus it does not help that these vagrants steal from the local businesses that they are sleeping in front of. To take this out context is idiotic. Its purely to assist the police department with combating a growing problem with perpetual violators. If one of those guys robs a citizen and something were to go awry then people would be crying out that the police department was doing nothing to keep the streets safe of that “guy” that they new was sleeping there every night even after he had been caught stealing things the day before. Your damned if you do and your damned if you don’t. For all those with critical comments I would love to see them pose a critical statement next time with an actual workable solution attached to it. Saying they are homeless and need help is sweet but unrealistic for every situation and I feel this law is obviously for those that do not respond to reason or have gone to far to be helped. (Also it is not the job of the police officer to council someone if they do not want the help or are in fact committing a crime.)

    1. KPMc says:

      Well… if they are STEALING things then they have already broken the law! So why the need to make sleeping unlawful? If a homeless person commits a crime then deal with that crime.

      The law is unnecessary and demeaning. As if being homeless and sleeping in a park isn’t bad enough now lets make ALL homeless criminals.

      The solution??? Arrest actual criminals!

    2. Aaron says:

      Yes, we must be very afraid of the sleeping homeless people.

      For real fun, why don’t you trot your hiney to the nearest airport for a crotch-grab seeing as how you love authority so much, shlomo.

  43. America the stupider says:

    Well there you have it, I believe what the town is trying to do is give us a public announcement. What they are saying is that if you bore easily do not come to our town because if you get caught napping due to our boring ass town we will issue you a summon.

  44. Dannie says:

    Seems like shooting-themselves-in-the foot thinking. All those public employees clearly asleep at the switch would be threatened too.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    On second thought…

    1. saywhat says:

      hahahahah!DING DING!!

  45. guest says:

    The Mayor and police Chief should be thrown out of office. What kind of representation is this for town of Roselle Park, NJ. It clearly shows a lack of humanity and compassion for anyone entering into Roselle Park to think if they had a condition which required sleep, and no funds the y may be subject to arrest as the only course of action and put them in system to get assistance. Outstanding Roselle Park, NJ.. Glad they have roads around you. Your town leadership definitely meets the new standard of being morons to run government.

    1. saywhat says:

      …the city counsel voted it in…or did it pass while they were….sleeping in public? hahaha!

  46. Borsia says:

    Whether people want to admit it or not having the homeless camping in front of your business is bad for business. The fact is that for all of their “compassion” most people avoid being in close proximity to the homeless. They will not go into shops if there are homeless sleeping or sitting around them. Better facilities are one answer but you can’t force the homeless to go to them and many won’t.

  47. Aceof Spades says:

    Lol. Well this is what we pay for. Total stupidness.

  48. Neal L says:

    Total Idiots! Do they think those people wish to be there? Hope they don’t lose their jobs, they will be out there themselves! Real compassion in New Jersey, gezzzzzzzz!!!!!!!

  49. Wolf says:

    People are homeless because the system has failed to provide proper treatment and assistance. Perhaps if we either get rid of the illegal people or tax them we can then help the people who deserve it. Then we won’t have homeless people sleeping on benches

    1. TXzdy says:

      The homeless life style is a choice. Actually the earth is mankinds home, so however we care to domicile is pesonal. That is, just as long as we don’t infringe on anothers happiness. There are many layers to this and all other “problems”. All humans need to sleep so this particular law is a stupid one because it attack a basic part of our humanity. It shows a lack of love and dignity for others humanity In other words it should never be a crime to do something human. Encouraging the vagrants to choice a better place to get sleep would not be wrong. And yes offering them a place to sleep in your own home would be nice also. Would you do gooders really do that? I think not!

      1. TXzdy says:

        Some bad grammer and spelling but I hope the point is made. Actually this system is very hard to see as the letters are so light.

      2. Matt Bieke says:

        I could not agree with these statements more. This country’s lack of compassion or understanding is sickening. They should stop wasting their time on people’s misfortunes and choices and concentrate on destroying the lack of ability for people to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. This is truly the disease plaguing our country.

  50. Eric says:

    That is a human rights violation. I should be able to take a nap if I want to when I am riding a bus or a train.

    1. saywhat says:

      …better not! forget the summons….watch the muggers!!

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