DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Dozens of homeless camped outside of the Volusia County Administration Building in downtown Daytona Beach had been told to move or face arrest. The city said there were enough beds at a Salvation Army shelter to accommodate them. Late Friday, after a weeks-long standoff, those homeless were cleared by police.
Daytona Police Chief Mike Chitwood said there were several steps that had to be met by law enforcement before they could act to relocate the homeless. One individual was arrested during the operation, he added.
People began gathering on the sidewalk in front of the administration building following the closure of Manatee Island Park, a location where many of the homeless frequented. Chief Chitwood expressed frustration about the circumstances that led to Friday's measures. He said that, in recent days, some of his detectives had been embedded among the homeless and observed criminal activity, some of which included "rampant drug use, rampant alcohol use, domestic abuse, prostitution, shooting up in the restrooms, beat downs," he added.