Anchorage Police Issue Citations to Illegal Homeless Campers
Teams of officers went into the woods citywide, issuing notices to illegal campers and also providing them with options.
Monday night, Anchorage police took the first step in clearing out illegal camping sites.
As part of the department’s push to make a dent into the crime that is happening in these illegal camps, teams of officers went into the woods citywide to issue notices to illegal campers and also to provide them with options.
Armed with notices, Anchorage police are responding to the city's growing number of illegal camps and campers who have tents in parks and wooded areas across town.
Part of Monday’s mission was to go into the woods of Chester Creek Park, locate the camps, and offer assistance to the injured, disabled, and mentally unstable people who live there.
“There’s a lot of people who are out there that are truly homeless and there’s some people out there that just use this ground to hold parties and use drugs,” said Anchorage Police Officer Mark Karstetter.
Police say that kind of dangerous behavior in public places jeopardize the safety of park and trail patrons.
“Most people don't realize the refuse that gets left behind here—the raw sewage, the beer bottles, broken glass,” Officer Karstetter continued.
Assaults, trash, honey buckets and even dead moose have been found at some of these camps, and police say it’s a safety hazard.
One camper said he was living in the woods because his “time was up” living at a shelter.
APD officers offered campers connections to long-term housing and temporary shelter.
The illegal campers have 15 business days from the date of receiving notice to clear out their possessions from the campsite.
The illegal campers who were warned and cited can appeal the citation.
APD could confirm if a non-profit or any other agency will be responsible for storing campers’ possessions.