Multiple local law enforcement departments spent Wednesday sweeping through locations around the Greenway Trail in an attempt to locate and identify campsites of homeless persons.
Boone Police, ASU Police and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the search, since the Town of Boone, ASU and Watauga County all have properties that they patrol located close to the trail. Officers located five campsites and spoke with an individual at one of the sites, according to a statement from Boone Police. The statement went on to say that Boone Police have received several complaints about individuals possibly sleeping in the woods off the Greenway Trail. This operation was an attempt to locate and identify individuals camping or establishing some type of shelter around the Greenway Trail.
“Often, we have found campsites that are occupied by homeless individuals. We try to direct them to use local resources for shelter and food, such as the Hospitality House and the Hunger and Health Coalition. With fall time arriving and winter closely behind, one of our objectives is to see that folks are not out in the elements since there are resources out there to help them.”said Lt. Bobby Creed, District Patrol Commander for Boone Police.
Lt. Creed went on to say, “The community uses the Greenway Trail for recreation and enjoyment. We were concerned about the discarded trash, drug paraphernalia, and human waste that generally associated with these campsites. The clean-up has already begun. The Greenway Trail is also thoroughfare for some to use to get from one side of town to the other. We often received complaints from citizens of individuals that look suspicious or using narcotics on the Greenway Trail. The objective of the operation was to locate and identify campsites, but to also send a message to the concerned citizens that we are aware of these activities and want to continue to make the Greenway Trail a safe place.”
No arrests were made and future operations are being planned to continue to monitor the Greenway Trail and surrounding properties.