City leaders: Springwater Trail sweep just the first step - KPTV - FOX 12

City leaders: Springwater Trail sweep just the first step

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Crews said they filled a 40-yard dumpster during the sweep of the homeless camps along the Springwater Trail Thursday. (KPTV) Crews said they filled a 40-yard dumpster during the sweep of the homeless camps along the Springwater Trail Thursday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland city leaders and police want to remind everyone that Thursday morning’s sweep of the Springwater Trail was just the start of a long and complex process.

Clearing the trail entirely of campers and debris will take a while, but a lot of work was done Thursday as between 70 and 100 people were moved out near Lambert Field in southeast Portland.

City officials said a 40-yard dumpster was filled and biohazards were collected, including 500 needles and nine gallons of urine.

Going forward, city leaders said they will target small sections of the trail with several groups doing outreach and cleanup.

The belongings that were cleared out Thursday will be going into storage lockers at Clackamas Service Center.

As for enforcement and keeping campers off the trail, officials with the Portland Police Bureau said officers will use their discretion, and asked residents to call for issues of public safety, like fights and drug use.

Officers said if people call because they see tents and they expect arrests to be made, that result would be unlikely to happen.

“Our goal always is compliance. Our goal always is to get people information on resources that are available and encourage them to pack up, clean up and go out of whatever area they're in,” PPB Sgt Pete Simpson said. “It is difficult, to your point, where do you tell them to go? There is no place to tell them to go. We know that."

Ahead of the sweep some 1500 notice signs were posted and dumpsters and portable toilets were brought in and serviced daily as city leaders say they're trying to lead with humanity and compassion.

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