On June 13th Newport police along with a county inmate work crew cleaned up an area above the Newport bayfront known as Heroin Hill. According to Jim Palmer Newport community service officer police had made contact with several transients in this area to trespass them from camping there. The area is right above the bayfront near the union hall off of 13th and Fall Street.
Palmer said it got to a point where the transients started using scrap material to build a structure with separate rooms. Police also started to get more complaints of increased crime in the area around the bayfront plus negative interactions with transients who were high or drunk. They received complaints of problems with locals and visitors, fighting and increased drug use.
Palmer said police decided that enough was enough. “We cleaned three large camps and four or five smaller camps. By taking down their established sites it will discourage them from coming back.” Palmer said about three weeks prior they served notice that the people there were trespassing and setting up illegal camping on city property and the area would be cleaned and the camps removed.
Officers and the county inmate work crew removed over 4,000 pounds of trash and garbage from the area during the cleanup. He said police are continuing to monitor the area and do occasional sweeps to prevent transients from moving back. Anyone who sees someone camping where they shouldn’t should contact Newport police at 541-574-3348.