Trash At Tulsa Park Becoming Big Problem, Police Say
TULSA, Oklahoma - You may look around, see trash and an old tent and think, "What a mess." But compared to a few days ago, it's actually an improvement.
Tulsa Police have been cracking down on getting the Eagle Reserve park near 91st and Riverside cleaned up.
An area in the woods is filled with trash, but for dozens of homeless men and women, it's home.
"They were bathing here. There's a little waterfall there, they've had towels and scrub brushes. They've since moved it, but they had a cart with soap and shampoo here," said Tulsa Police Sergeant.
The problem, Parson says, isn't living there — it's the mess they leave behind.
"Needle caps, things like that. There was a meth pipe that was over there the other day," Parson said.
Police found out about the place after multiple reports of stolen bikes, propane tanks and fighting along the trails.
He says when you have families and children enjoying the park and trail, that's not a good combination.
The woods are city property, managed by fish and game, but when it comes to the trash, Tulsa police have to enforce the rules.
"The other day, there was a whole series of tents and if you keep going down that trail there are more tents that way," Parson said.
This week police have been ticketing the people they catch. They say the tickets will be dropped if people just clean up their mess.
Some have done that, others have just left it all.
Parson says at this point, jail time could be the next step for repeat violators. But he hopes it doesn't have to lead to that.
"There's plenty of services available for people that want to reach out and get them or that will follow the rules but I mean this isn't a way to treat a city park," said Parson.
The City of Tulsa will be out next week cleaning all of it out.
Police say they know the fight to keep this space clear will be an ongoing battle, but they are up for it.