DENVER (CBS4) — Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday’s sweep of a homeless camp near the Capitol was “a relief” and called it an important step toward making the city safer.
Dozens of people staying at the park complained they didn’t have enough time to gather their belongings — and Denver School Board’s Tay Anderson claims he was knocked to the ground during a protest.
During a news conference Thursday, Gov. Polis was asked about the sweep at Lincoln Park.
“I would say it’s a relief,” Polis stated. “Look, I, I was deeply troubled by the dangerous health situation in that area. I mean, loose needles, there were shootings nearby.”
Polis said clearing the camps isn’t a long-term solution, but it became necessary to protect the health and safety of everyone in the area. He said homelessness is a problem city leaders need to work together to solve.
“I don’t think anybody pretends cleaning up an area that’s dangerous solves the issue of homelessness,” Polis stated. “That takes a deep bipartisan regional commitment between the metro mayors in the Colorado Springs area in the Denver area in northern Colorado and western Colorado to work together with the private sector and housing authorities to find a longer term solution.”
Polis said last week he would like to see the homeless moved from around the state Capitol.
“I think this is a great step towards protecting our population who’s experiencing homeless, protecting visitors to the Capitol, protecting workers who work in the area of private sector and state,” Polis said Thursday. “So I really think was a great, an important step by the mayor and by the City of Denver to help make everybody safer, including homeless residents and residents with homes.”