Park City police probe homelessness cases
The Park City Police Department on Monday investigated a report of a homeless encampment outside a building along a busy street, an unusual location for such a find after a series of other cases involving spots on hillsides well away from traffic.
Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the department received a report at 3 p.m. at a building on Kearns Boulevard close to the Park Avenue intersection. It is one of the busiest intersections in Park City as two state highways meet.
Kirk said the building owner contacted the Police Department. He said the homeless person set up a campsite underneath the building’s air-conditioning sheltering. An officer who responded found clothes, food, alcohol and a backpack, Kirk said. There was also trash left at the location, he said.
Nobody was at the encampment at the time of the initial police response. Kirk said an officer returned to the encampment at 1:10 a.m. on Tuesday to check on the location. The officer found a 49-year-old man sleeping behind the building, Kirk said.
Kirk said the man told the police he had been staying at the location for approximately two weeks. The Police Department ordered the man to leave and told him he could be charged with trespassing if he returned, Kirk said. He agreed to leave.
Kirk said it was the first time the Police Department had been contacted regarding the man.
Another homelessness case involving a different man was reported on Thursday at 2:50 a.m. at the Old Town transit center, the police said. Kirk said the man at the transit center was cited on a criminal trespassing count.
The police in Park City occasionally receive reports of homelessness, but there have been few in recent months. There have been cases at the Old Town transit center, in the vicinity of the Rail Trail and on hillsides.
The Police Department says there are concerns about the safety of people living outdoors in frigid temperatures as well as worries about them starting fires and leaving their trash. There are no homeless shelters in Park City. Police officers offer to transport homeless people to a shelter in the Salt Lake Valley if they desire to relocate.
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.