After Brief Hiatus, Denver Police Resume Camping Ban Enforcement

Evan Semon
After a two-week hiatus, the Denver Police Department will again resume enforcement of the urban camping ban.

Enforcement will begin sometime this week, says Ryan Luby, a spokesperson for the Denver City Attorney's Office. The news was first reported by the Denver Post.

The ordinance, enacted in 2012 to move homeless individuals into shelters, has been in limbo after Denver County Court Judge Johnny Barajas declared it unconstitutional. Following the ruling, the Denver Police Department said it would await further instructions from the city attorney's office before resuming enforcement.

Lawyers from the city attorney's office are working on an appeal of the court ruling. While that appeal works its way through the court, the camping ban remains on the books.

The city has continued to engage in large-scale sweeps of homeless encampments. On January 7, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure swept a camp in the Five Points neighborhood, citing a city law that allows municipal officials to disperse encampments and clean the area on which they're located.

Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca is trying to repeal the camping ban. She'll need nine votes on council, rather than the traditional seven, in order for the proposal to survive Mayor Michael Hancock's inevitable veto. 
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.

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