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Law enforcement sweeps Greenway

Ashland police joined other Rogue Valley law enforcement agencies Wednesday and Thursday in an effort to increase the safety, security and cleanliness of the Bear Creek Greenway, the Talent Police Department announced in a release Thursday.

During the two-day sweep, 10 warrant arrests were made, two possession of methamphetamine arrests were made, 23 prohibited camping citations were issued, 11 trespass citations were issued, five citations were issued for being in a park after closure and two marijuana grows were located.

The Greenway is a 17.9-mile biking and hiking path extending from Ashland to Central Point, following Bear Creek along most of the way. Some sections have become popular camp sites for the homeless.

Medford and Central Point police departments joined those from Ashland and Talent, along with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, in the joint effort. Also helping were members of the Veterans Administration, Ashland Community Resource Center, Rogue Valley Veterans and Community Outreach and the Jackson County parole and Probation Department.

Notices were posted near numerous campsites warning those illegally camped of the upcoming enforcement action prior to the sweep. Individuals contacted prior to and during the enforcement effort were advised of services available to them, including food, shelter and non-emergency medical care services, according to the release.

The enforcement effort was timed to enhance the safety of the Greenway prior to the start of the school year. A cleanup of the Greenway, assisted by Jackson County Community Corrections, is planned in the wake of the enforcement effort.