The City of Atlanta this morning cleared several tents from the Woodruff Park area in downtown Atlanta. A television show is filming in the area now. The two events are not connected, the Atlanta Police Department said.
In a statement, the department said that officers “conducted a successful operation this morning shortly after 6 a.m. to enforce an urban camping ordinance prohibiting tents on city sidewalks.”
Seven tents were removed.
“Officers assisted several individuals in seeking appropriate shelter in cooperation with United Way representatives who were also on hand. There were no arrests or incidents as a result of the action,” the statement read. “The action follows two days of warnings to sidewalk campers that they were in violation of an ordinance passed by the Atlanta City Council in March and approved by Mayor Kasim Reed.”
The ordinance, the statement explained, bans tents and the keeping of personal belongings on city sidewalks.
“Individuals were given the opportunity to collect their personal belongings and leave before the enforcement action,” the department said. “Officers, with assistance from members of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District’s Ambassador Force, carefully dismantled remaining tents and stored property in keeping with the department’s policies for collecting abandoned property.”
One tent contained “what appeared to be human waste and was discarded after the owner was informed of its contents,” the department said.
“We enforced the urban camping law today after two days of warnings, and achieved our goal of removing the tents without incident,” Deputy Chief Renee Propes, commander of the Community Services Division for APD, who oversaw the operation, said in a statement. “We did so with respect for people, and their property. Most importantly, we were able to connect the individuals who requested assistance in seeking shelter with the appropriate social service agencies.”
A USA television show is filming in that area today. The show, “Necessary Roughness,” is about a therapist who helps football players with their problems. It’s filming in the nearby Hurt Plaza area.
Last year, Woodruff Park became the temporary home for “Occupy” protestors, although Occupy Atlanta spokesman Tim Franzen said the tent dwellers cleared from the park were not affiliated with his group.
The clearing of tents and television show filming are “not at all related,” said Atlanta Police Department spokesman Carlos Campos.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzemail@example.com