WILMINGTON — In a joint effort on Tuesday, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Wilmington Police Department officers began executing patrols throughout Wilmington in areas identified as high priority for response.
“The mission is to safely remove abandoned encampments and litter, as well as make contact with the ‘at large’ and/or homeless population to connect them with resources and remove them from the trespassed areas”, according to a news release from the two entities.
Members of the Clinton County Health Department accompanied the safety personnel, as well as employees from the Wilmington Maintenance and Repair Department, who assisted in clearing over 5,200 pounds of trash and abandoned items, and Wilmington Fire & EMS.
These efforts begin the joint response with county and city officials to the growing homelessness concern.
CCSO and WPD worked together to identify response areas, using complaints from citizens and the railroad company, as well as police reports.
Targeted areas included the bike trails, railroad tracks and Lytle Creek, accessing through public property and private property, with permission from property owners.
The patrols continued Wednesday and Thursday.
Results are incomplete, but at the time of statement, authorities were able to make contact with 14 individuals — including two who were taken into custody with outstanding warrants — and give referrals to supportive services to all individuals.
The patrols, as well as the strategy to address the growing homeless population, are ongoing and evolving. County and City representatives are holding a follow up meeting to continue the response to the homelessness concern and review the results of the first sweep on Tuesday, October 1st. Representatives from both county and city will make additional statements following the meeting.