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Sparks Police Offer Services, Remove Illegal Campers from Gateway Park

Sparks, NV – Today, the Sparks Police Homeless Outreach Proactive Engagement (HOPE) Team moved illegal campers out of Gateway Park and nearby Greg Street along the Truckee River in Sparks. The team offered services and collaborated with community partners to ensure beds were available at regional homeless shelters.

 The HOPE Team’s goal is to offer services and assist those experiencing homelessness by working with various organizations and charities to help those in need prior to any enforcement action being taken.

 “For the safety of campers and patrons of the river and park, we coordinated efforts with our regional partners to provide services to those illegally camping at Gateway Park and along the river,” said Sparks Police Chief Chris Crawforth. “We offered emergency shelter, transitional housing, food, medical care, behavioral health services, trash clean up assistance, relocation services, and other support to individuals at Gateway Park.”

 Since November 2020, the HOPE team has visited Gateway Park to offer services 33 times. “However, the Gateway Park homeless camps have led to numerous calls for service for crimes committed by the subjects camping there,” Chief Crawforth said. The crimes reported range from petty theft and illegal campfires to more serious crimes such as indecent exposure, threats, and drug sales.

 Approximately 43 occupants were advised that it is unlawful to camp at Gateway Park. Community organizations that helped with the outreach efforts include Health Plan of Nevada, Foundation for Recovery, Valley View Christian Church, Mobile Outreach Safety Team (MOST), Karma Box, Veterans Services, and Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE).

Several people accepted services offered today including five choosing to go into shelters, two accepting substance abuse treatment and three given bus tickets to reunite with family members. No citations were issued, or arrests made.

 Officers informed those who chose not to accept services that they could voluntarily go to the men’s or women’s shelters or other housing where beds are available.

Sparks Public Works maintenance crews expect to remove approximately 200 yards of trash and debris from Gateway Park.