The City of Burlington shut down its Sears Lane homeless camp Thursday.
Wednesday, Burlington Police and Fire responded to multiple incidents at the site of the Sears Lane encampment. Police executed a warrant following a month-long narcotics investigation into trafficking. Also, a camper pointed an assault-style airsoft gun (a replica pellet gun) at Burlington Fire personnel who were responding to a medical emergency.
Yesterday, Burlington Police have issued a notice to leave and remove possessions by October 19 in accordance with the City of Burlington’s Encampment Policy.
Mayor Weinberger made the following statement:
“In response to yesterday’s confirmation of serious criminal activity and the hostile threat towards our first responders at the Sears Lane encampment, I have directed the Burlington Police Department to issue notices of trespass to any campers residing on the City-owned lot immediately.
Prior to today, in the face of an enormous and acute housing shortage, the City team had been working diligently through the summer to protect public health and safety and to find a way for this City-owned land to help address community housing needs in the short- and longer-term. However, in attempting to generate new, needed housing the City’s intent was never to protect criminal activity. It is clear that the encampment at Sears Lane has become untenable and unacceptable.”
The mayor offered no comment on what housing, if any, will replace the Sears Lane camp.