Rome police clear out homeless camps in city limits
ROME — The Rome Police Department has been clearing out homeless encampments in the city over the past week, including twice behind the JCPenney store on Erie Boulevard West.
Rome Police spokesperson Lt. Sharon Rood said they break up the camps because they are often on private property, they leave behind large amounts of debris and waste, and they can be a concern for brush fires when set up in the woods. Behind the JCPenney is also an active railroad track owned by the Adirondack Railroad, she noted, and it is not safe to be living so close to the tracks.
“It’s not safe for them to be there. It’s not safe for us to be there” policing the camps, Rood explained.
“We’re going to continue to take them down.”
The Community Impact Unit was assigned a detail to clear out homeless camps in the city on Oct. 28. Authorities said there were several camps behind the JCPenney, several more in the woods off Mill Street south of the Barge Canal, and at least one camp underneath the South James Street bridge. All were cleared out.
The officers went back on Monday after the camps returned behind the JCPenney and cleared them out again, Rood stated.
The Rome Rescue Mission is available to assist homeless individuals at 413 E. Dominick St.
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