MEDFORD, Ore. —Medford Police beginning to enforce the city’s Prohibited Camping Ordinance. The city passed out 72-hour notices, asking people to pack up their campsites on the Greenway Monday.
Thursday morning, officers and other crews, began to remove what’s left behind, at the now, illegal campsites. The massive clean-up process is expected to take weeks, perhaps months. MPD Deputy Chief Trevor Arnold says the city’s already filled two 30 yard dumpsters with garbage.
“When the team went back out this morning with a clean sweep from Rogue Retreat, the Medford parks department to do the actual cleanup operation there were no campers remaining in those posted campsites,” said DC Arnold.
MPD’s Livability Team brought with them social services agencies like Access and Rogue Retreat.
“This was really just kind of one more opportunity for the team to connect with all of the people who were living there illegally in those campsites and encourage them to connect with some services,” said DC Arnold.
The city began passing out 72-hour notices Monday, to prepare people living on the Greenway for the operation.
About 7 large campsites were targeted, including this one by the railroad park, close to where 2 homicides occurred earlier this spring. While the activity seemed to be without incident, not everyone was happy about the efforts.
Joe Gibson is homeless.
“Targeting sleep, targeting stability, targeting structure and safety from the elements is targeting someone’s right to life,” said Gibson.
He tells us multiple groups have been out here all week, up 3 to 4 times daily. Gibson says Wednesday the organizations began giving out hotel vouchers.
“That was the last incentive for people to be somewhere better,” said Gibson.
DC Arnold says while the livability team is out here daily, sweeps will target a new area to clean up next week.
“We’ll just continue that process you know for as long as it takes,” said DC Arnold.
Preventing fires on the greenway is one of MPD’s top priorities. Misdemeanors will be given to those who refuse to leave, as a last resort.