Two days after Chico Police postings, city and county workers move in to clean Lindo Channel encampments

Jul 10, 2014 6:05 PM by Brian Johnson

Forty-eight hours after Chico Police Officers post eviction notices at illegal homeless encampments, city and county workers come in to haul out what's left.

Within a span of a few seconds, members of the Butte County Sheriff's Office Alternative Custody Supervision program uncovered a surfboard, and then spiders.

"I don't like spiders," said ACS worker Duane Brown. "[I] had a big incident down there with a group of spiders, [and] yeah ran, screamed."

This happened while Brown and 12 other work-program members cleared out homeless encampments along the western portion of Chico's Lindo Channel, behind a neighborhood off of Mission Ranch Boulevard.

"Anything that's left behind, we're here and cleaning those things up," said Chico Senior Parks Ranger Shane Romain.

Romain led up the mission from the city side, but received some help from the two sheriff's office programs, SWAP (Sheriffs Work Alternative Program) and ACS.
Brown has done cleanups like this before.

"It's a lot of pileup, a lot of rotting material, food, nasty food, fecal matter, just real gross," Brown said.

"You can see we're all breaking a little bit of a sweat," Romain said. "Luckily everybody that's working out here is working really hard and takes pride in looking at these areas that are completely dumps and then be able to walk away and see the beauty of the vegetation returns."

Added Brown, "You want to walk through the trees and smell the trees. You don't want to walk through and just smell nasty."

As of around lunchtime, workers had filled up two dump trucks worth of debris.

Then they moved east along the Lindo Channel, arriving along East Lindo Avenue, where they found more of the same.

Chico Police Lt. David Britt said police posted 25, 48-hour notices early Tuesday morning in advance of Thursday's cleanups.
Their job, in addition to posting notices, was to make sure camps were unoccupied before city and county workers arrived.

Romain said this is the first cleanup city and county workers have done since January, as safety became a concern without police presence.

"Due to low staffing levels and coordination between departments, we weren't able to do these safely," Romain said.

But now they can, maybe with the exception of those spiders.

Lt. Britt tells Action News Now one arrest was made Tuesday at a homeless encampment under the Esplanade Bridge, but that was for a parole violation.
No citations have been issued yet.


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