Anderson Police Department Targets Illegal Camping

homeless campsite by waferboard flickr CC

The Anderson Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP)  unit conducted a series of operations this morning targeting city municipal code violations and illegal camping in the city limits. The Anderson Police Department has been conducting these operations on a more frequent basis within the past two years in an effort to reduce environmental issues caused by transient encampments and deter trespassing and illegal camping in the city.

These encampments are usually discovered in rural areas of the city on large properties that provide concealment by trees and vegetation. Unfortunately, when these encampments are discovered by authorities, they normally contain large amounts of trash, debris, unsafe burning practices and/or trash deposits in nearby streams and waterways.

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, the POP unit was assisted by patrol officers, code enforcement agents, and investigators from the Anderson Fire Department.  Three locations were the focus of today’s operation, and included property south of the Gateway Drive/Shady Lane and Balls Ferry Road area, Barney Road area, and the Anderson River Park area. Additionally, some smaller fields were checked behind local businesses.

As a result of the operation, several encampments were located. Offenders of the Anderson Municipal Code received citations and one camper, 46 year old Christine Woods, was taken into custody for outstanding arrest warrants and booked into jail. Most of the encampments were found to be unoccupied but nonetheless were documented by code enforcement officials for follow-up and future eradication.

The effort was supported by Anderson resident and business owner Mike Hubert. Hubert deployed his aerial drone at each location which assisted law enforcement personnel with the operation. Several members of the Anderson City Council were invited to the target locations and were escorted into the encampments by Anderson police so they could survey the sites.

The Problem Oriented Policing Unit is committed to the ongoing enforcement of offenders within the City of Anderson and will continue to hold offenders accountable through community policing and innovative enforcement techniques.

Photo by Waferboard via Flickr; permission to use through Creative Commons

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-from press release
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