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Salt Lake Police Clean up City Creek Canyon, homeless forced out

Salt Lake Police and several local agencies team up to clean up City Creek Canyon.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) - Salt Lake Police and several local agencies have teamed up to clean up City Creek Canyon.

Starting Monday not only will trash be picked up but homeless living in the area are also being told to leave or face getting a citation.

Popular amongst runners and surrounded by beautiful homes, City Creek Canyon also has a high homeless population.

Now, Salt Lake Police are enforcing the law notifying all homeless in the area to pack up and hit the road. Salt Lake City Detective Charlie Goodman tells ABC 4 Utah " A lot of liter and trash is left behind and City Creek is a protective water shed. It is the water we drink here in Salt Lake City. There are also numerous subjects who are having campfires outside of the designated areas which is a fire hazard."   

Plus, Detective Goodman says animals such as deer, rabbits and even reports of a moose are being hunted illegally. Monday morning alone police came across seven camps, but say hundreds of homeless have made City Creek their home

However, if those camping out do not leave within 24 hours they will be cited and their belongings will be removed. "We have numerous goals that we plan to make contact with these individuals in order to make them aware it's illegal to camp, but also to provide them some long term solutions for some shelter and assistance with any possible mental illnesses or anything like that, says Goodman.

Nicholas Rupp from the Salt Lake County Health Department says the clean up is about public safety.We want to make sure families who are enjoying City Creek Canyon don't stumble upon human feces, human urine, needles and also to protect the water shed.”

However, for John and Alma who set up camp just a few days ago and have been told to leave, they say they felt City Creek was their only option.

"We don't have anybody to fall back on. W to do it ourselves and that's what we've been trying to do." As for what's next for the couple they say they are going to find a place to lay their head at night and use resources the way they are supposed to be used," says the couple. 

Salt Lake Police say illegal campers have only 24 hours to vacate and services are being provided for them. However, utilizing them is ultimately up to them.

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