By POLICE CHIEF JOHN MILLER/Special to the Express
Winters police officers, with the assistance of the city public works department, conducted a “sweep” of the Putah Creek area and its embankment on Thursday, Aug. 24, in response to complaints of transient encampments with excessive refuse, including human waste.
Three encampments were located between First Street and Railroad Avenue. Two of the encampments were unoccupied and items of value were taken for safekeeping at the Winters Police Department.
Refuse, including trash and perishable goods, were disposed of. Winters officers and public works staff assisted the occupant of the third encampment to pack his belongings and dispose of his accumulated trash and refuse. Winters Police Department personnel also gave the occupant material on available resources for the homeless.
A fourth abandoned encampment was also located, and the remaining trash was collected. The refuse and trash cleared from the creek area filled a public works dump truck.
Additionally, another subject was contacted near the Interstate 505 over-crossing, napping on the trail on dumped couch cushions and blankets. The subject was on active probation and had failed to report to Yolo Probation Department. However, a warrant had not been entered into the system yet. The subject was advised to contact the probation department no later than the next day to avoid a warrant being issued.
Although homelessness is an unfortunate circumstance, it is vitally important to keep the creek area clear of this type of refuse and trash for the public’s health as well as the health of our waterways and natural resources.