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Sweep of Homeless Camp Nets Truckloads of Trash

A team from the RPD conducted a sweep of a local park known for illegal camping and drug activity.

Posted: Oct. 10, 2018 7:02 PM
Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 11:52 AM

REDDING, Calif. - A team from the Redding Police Department conducted a sweep of a local park known for illegal camping and drug activity.

Riverfront park sits just off Parkview Avenue.

For years homeless people have used it to camp illegally and do drugs.

“Well, we've been here almost three years,” said nearby resident Vicente Lopez. “And constantly it's getting it's getting a little bit worse every year.”

Lopez said it's not the homeless that concern him, but the drug use happening feet away from his home.

“And you know that's what they're doing because they come five or six times a day, stay half an hour and they're gone,” Lopez said.

Wednesday, the team spent most of the morning cleaning up trash and drug paraphernalia.

“A lot of the trash they cleaned up just today,” said RPD homeless outreach officer Phil Eoff. “It was actually pretty clean in here today. There wasn't a whole lot compared to what we've seen in the past.”

And while it wasn't a huge haul, officers say just last week they collected more than 10,000 pounds of trash from the Henderson Open Space just across the river.

But cleaning up trash is just one part of their mission.

“And we also follow up on homeless camps and homeless people that have been referred to us by our community cleanup officers and our code enforcement officers,” Eoff said.

Wednesday, Eoff and his team encountered a father and two children camping in the park along the river.

“And as my outreach officer from Shasta County was talking to them, she realized that the oldest juvenile should be, or is enrolled in Shasta High School,” he said.

Together, they talked with the family to figure out the best way to get them off the streets.

“So she was trying to facilitate that, talking to the father about the services that are available here in Shasta County for him to try and get him and his juveniles off the street so they're not camping out here and get them into school,” Eoff said.

Officers were able made contact with the mother of the two children who drove down from Oregon to be reunited with her children.

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