Two separate, major transient camp clean-ups were conducted today, one on private property and one on City of Redding property. Ever since the Redding Police Department Code Enforcement Team was formed in January 2015, primarily to address illegal transient encampment in Redding, the team received numerous reports of illegal transient camps in the open land along the east side of S. Bechelli lane, north of S. Bonnyview Road. The Code Enforcement Team (CET) has patrolled it on many occasions, posting illegal camps for removal and citing or arresting trespassers on the property.
RPD has worked with the property owner, Gene Rother, to counter the trespassing on his property. Mr. Rother began major work this week to clear the property of brush and other vegetation which transients have been using to hide their illegal camping on the property, while protecting the numerous trees throughout the area. He expects the work to take at least five days to complete. Many property owners have found that clearing open land of brush and raising the canopy of trees makes the property a less attractive place for transients to illegally camp or trespass.
Over the past several months, RPD CET began receiving complaints from neighbors of transients inhabiting a storm drain on Cypress Ave. Most of the complaints came from Starlite Mobile Estates on Cypress Ave. The storm drain section is probably the largest in Redding. It runs from Cypress Ave., next to Taylor Motors, to the north side of Lowe’s (under the entire shopping center). Another arm comes out north of Churn Creek Car Wash on Churn Creek Road. The RPD Code Enforcement Team, along with RPD patrol officers, began citing or arresting people in the storm drain.
Because it is part of the Redding storm drain system, special arrangements had to be made to clean it and remove the illegal camps and debris which officers found inside. Personnel from the Redding Storm Drain Utility, the Redding Police Department, and ServiceMaster worked together today to clean this major section of storm drain. A ServiceMaster crew went into the underground storm drain sections and removed the debris inside. The RPD Community Clean-Up Program crew, led by CSO Bob Brannon, and Storm Drain personnel hauled away the debris.
These clean-up operations are part of the ongoing effort of the RPD Code Enforcement Team to identify and remove illegal encampments. The team’s larger goal is move people out of illegal encampments and into the social service assistance available to them in the community.