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Community Health and Safety Section Addresses Large Encampment in Protected Natural Growth Area

Before: Encampment located at 18600 Hwy 99.

The Community Health and Safety initiative is a recent endeavor of the City of Lynnwood. It is a partnership of the Lynnwood Police, Community Development, and Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Departments. The mission of the Community Health and Safety Initiative is to leverage community partnerships; to institute creative problem-solving techniques through a unified city-wide interdepartmental approach; and foster outreach through education to address conditions that fuel crime and public disorder while maintaining a proactive stance on criminal trends and nuisance problems that impact the quality of life for citizens of Lynnwood. 

The City of Lynnwood is pleased to highlight one of several accomplishments of the new Community Health & Safety Initiative. This endeavor involved the clean-up and ecological restoration of an encampment located at 18600 Hwy 99, which was located in the protected natural growth area just behind 7-11 and an auto body shop. This clean-up was a joint effort of the Lynnwood Police, community services workers, Public Works crews, the Lynnwood Fire Department's Haz-Mat team, and the Department of Ecology. The entire clean-up took approximately 7 hours and workers removed 25 yards of litter and debris. No Trespassing signs are now posted and any individual found camping on this property will be cited for camping on City property.

Lynnwood Police Sergeant T.J. Brooks, who leads the Community Health and Safety Section of the Police Department and has spearheaded this initiative, indicated that this encampment, which was located on City owned property, was well concealed from the road and probably went undetected for months. There was indication of criminal activity such as discarded drug paraphernalia, stolen property, and destruction of the ground and natural setting with chemicals leaking into the ground. Sergeant Brooks reports that they have cleaned up two smaller encampments utilizing public works crews andare working on another large encampment also located in a natural growth area.Sergeant Brooks stated that the Community Health and Safety Initiative is"unlike anything you see in other communities. This cross-departmental team is actively working together to address issues of criminal activity, code enforcement, and protection of our natural environment, all for the betterment of the Lynnwood community."

During Clean-Up of Encampment

After Clean-Up