City to clean up homeless camps

Posted at: 03/15/2013 7:21 AM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A long list of city groups will work together for Operation "Bosque Clean-up", touring through the bosque and getting rid of homeless camps. Officials say that APD's Open Space Officers patrol the bosque regularly, but homeless people often set up in hard-to-find, hard-to-access areas. As fire season approaches, these camps become dangerous fire hazards, and officers want to make sure both the people who were living in them and people visiting the bosque are safe.

They plan to work through the bosque, looking for and then clearing these camps. APD says the camps are often elaborate, with furniture, clothes, food, tarps and more. Officers recently found a camp with a three-foot pile of rubber casings. They have entrances, exits and synthetic materials that would contribute to hot and destructive fires that could easily spread through the bosque.

APD Open Space Unit officers, Maintenance and Construction and Visitor Services representatives from Albuquerque's Open Space Division and Parks and Recreation Department, low security Bernalillo County inmates and representatives from APD's C.O.A.S.T will be involved. The C.O.A.S.T unit will work with any homeless people they find and help them to find their next step.