I just got off the phone with Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He said the department is aware of the problem and plans are already in motion to clean up the homeless encampment at East 72nd Street and Portland Avenue.
He said a team involving representatives of the sheriff’s department, the county executive, the health department and the public works department are planning to clean it up:
"We’re in the process of putting a multi-agency team together to get that taken care of. We’re already in the process of cleaning it up. … The ball’s already rolling on it. And obviously, the sooner we can get started, the better."
He says Tacoma’s tough anti-panhandling laws and other anti-crime legislation has pushed a lot of crime out into the unincorporated portions of Pierce County:
"It’s a problem we deal with all the time in the county. We’re developing the same tools as the city to deal with it. We don’t want (the city) dumping their problems in the county."