Transient reports continue in Park City bus depot
Officials post prohibition signs at Old Town facility as cases persist
January 17, 2017
The Park City Police Department has continued to find transients or homeless people in the Old Town transit center, leading City Hall to post signs at the Swede Alley facility indicating the practice is outlawed.
The most recent case was logged on Jan. 12 at 3:30 a.m. Phil Kirk, a police captain, said an officer on patrol found a transient, a man, in the transit center. The officer warned the man, Kirk said. Someone is not allowed to be inside the transit center outside of operating hours. The warning was for trespassing, Kirk said.
The Jan. 12 case followed shortly after several others since the New Year. Kirk said at least two of the cases involved the same person.
Transit staffers and the Police Department have since teamed to install signs meant to discourage someone from sleeping in the facility. Two signs have been posted on the upper level and one was put on the lower level. The signs indicate the hours of the transit center run from 5:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.
The signs also say it is a criminal offense, trespassing, if someone goes into or stays in the transit center outside of the posted hours. The Police Department says the signs allow an officer to issue a trespassing warning or a citation if someone is found inside in the hours between 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.
The Park City bus system is currently operating on a winter schedule with longer hours than during other parts of the year, meaning that the opening hours of the transit center are extended compared to those at other points of the year.
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A situation earlier in January highlighted the issue after a man described as homeless was found inside the transit center in the frigid overnight hours. An officer on a regular patrol found the man sleeping on a bench in the lower level. The police on duty at the time allowed the man to stay for the night even though someone is prohibited from doing so.
The Police Department afterward said it was prudent to allow the man to stay since he would have been in danger if he was forced outside into the bitterly cold temperatures. The man was warned not to stay in the transit center again, though.
There was another case involving a homeless man at the transit center at Kimball Junction the day after one of the reports in Park City. That man left the transit center to go to a nearby business that is open 24 hours a day, the Summit County Sheriff's Office said.
It is rare for transients or homeless people to live in Park City during the winter as cold, snowy weather makes conditions extraordinarily difficult for someone without shelter. In the summer, though, people are occasionally found living in campsites in the hills that surround Park City. There are no homeless shelters in Park City. The closest are in the Salt Lake Valley.