Community Officers Clean Up Abandoned Homeless Camps

Anyone who is uncomfortable picking up needles found in public areas are asked to call the Sharps hotline at 218-730-4001.

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Police community officers coordinated with park rangers and other city staff to help clean up a few areas known to be abandoned homeless camps.

Officers filled two dump trucks full with trash and debris.

During the cleanup they found old couches and clothes.

They also to picked up any drug needles left behind.

The Duluth police say these city–owned areas do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Parks department, so cleanup efforts can fall to the wayside.

Officers said it gave them peace of mind knowing they left those areas cleaner and safer for the public.

“A big part of our department philosophy is not only to enforce laws, but to show the community that we care,” said Community Officer Jim Forsyth.

The Duluth Park Rangers say they work with the homeless community very often.

They say the cleanup efforts are also an eye–opening experience into the lives of the homeless.

“We get the experience to see kind of what people are going through and what could be done to help them in the future,” said Lead Ranger Taylor Wendt.

The community officers are encouraging anyone who discovers needles in public areas and are not comfortable picking them up to reach out to the 24 hour Sharps hotline.

A volunteer will respond to the location.

The number is 218-730-4001.

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