PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Phoenix City Council is considering a partial ban on homeless encampments.

It would prevent camping near schools, day cares and city parks. The potential ban was discussed during a public safety subcommittee meeting last week. It would be modeled after an ordinance passed in San Diego in June preventing homeless encampments in public areas. “By Labor Day, it was like an entirely different city,” said Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring. “Clearly they realized their peril. No one is going to want to come here. That is the same thing we face here,” said Waring.

Waring has voiced concern about homeless encampments and drug paraphernalia near parks. He said enacting this ban is a matter of public safety. “I get reports from parents that they can’t take their kids to parks, they don’t feel safe,” said Waring.

But homeless advocates have concerns about enforcement and criminalizing unsheltered people. Jared Keenan is the legal director for ACLU Arizona. He said the city of Phoenix already has an anti-camping ban on the books but there is a federal court order that protects unsheltered people. “Unless the city has adequate shelter, you can’t criminalize camping in public, sleeping in public,” said Keenan. Waring said that the city is working to open more shelter space.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is investigating the Phoenix Police Department over accusations officers violated the rights of people experiencing homelessness. Waring acknowledged that could complicate enforcement. “We can’t violate court orders knowingly but we need to push the envelope right up to the point we think is legal,” said Waring. “We have to address the root causes, in the extent we can’t, we can’t just let rampant crime go on like we have seen in the last few years.”

The public safety committee is made up of Councilmembers Waring, Ann O’Brien and Kevin Robinson. Waring said the committee is set to vote on the proposed ban in the next month. If it passes, it would then head to the full Phoenix City Council.