Police officer: Impromptu camps ‘only going to get worse’ as winter nears

Ontario Police officers this morning check out personal items left behind at an impromptu camp that was illegally set up at the entrance doors on the north side of Ontario’s Aquatic Center, which has been closed since September of 2013.

ONTARIO — Ontario Police officers responded this morning to a report of a homeless camp that had been set up by the north entrance of the Ontario Aquatic Center. However, when they arrived, nobody was there.

Among those who responded was Code Enforcement Officer Dallas Brockett, who said before they remove any personal property, officers will first attempt to make contact with the person(s) who had been staying there in order to criminally trespass them from the property.

This will require watchful eyes from both crews with JACOBS, Ontario Public Works department, while they are at Lions Park, as well as workers at the office for the Ontario Recreation District, which is catty-corner from the entrance. Brockett said he would be making contact with both of those entities to ask for extra help in that area, in addition to continuing to drive by to see if the person(s) come back.

If officers are unable to make contact with whomever is living there, Brockett said the next step would be putting up No Trespassing signs and then removing the personal property.

“The problem is only going to get worse as we move into the winter months,” he said.

Due to this, Brockett will be stepping up his efforts on getting abandoned properties secured. This work will include working with property owners who are out of the area to get permission to enforce criminal violations on their property, as well as educating them about crime prevention through environmental design, Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero has previously told the newspaper. Through the latter process, police officers “provide guidance on how to adjust the environment so it’s less desirable or accommodating,” he explains.

While these people may be homeless, camping on someone else’s property is against the law, Romero says, adding that individuals who are criminally trespassing, will be dealt with accordingly.

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