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Putnam Sheriff’s Department Answering Property Owner Concerns About Homeless

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Sheriff’s Department Answering Property Owner Concerns About Homeless

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department kicked off Operation Rescue Wednesday morning, targeting the homeless living on private property.

Sheriff Eddie Farris said that the goal was to give them notice to vacate the property and connect them with churches and UCHRA. However, Farris said a majority did not want assistance, even running into multiple people with outstanding warrants.

Farris said this was initiated by calls from property owners wanting help.

“We found several makeshift living tents and so on and so forth, the living conditions were horrendous,” Farris said. “Not only that, the trash and garbage that these folks are just, destroying this private property.”

Farris said he received signed waivers from the property owners to clear out the criminal trespassing, visiting over 20 locations Wednesday. Farris said that five arrests were made.

“We had one that was arrested on an outstanding Putnam County warrant for the manufacturing and sale of methamphetamine,” Farris said. “We had one that had a warrant out of Jackson County, we had another one wanted for the manufacturing and sale of methamphetamine. We found some methamphetamine, some drugs on these individuals today. Then we had a couple for violation order of protection that was wanted and hadn’t been showing up in court.”

He said that if the un-housed people do not follow the order to vacate, they will be arrested if law enforcement returns and finds them still there. Farris said he expects the operation to continue over several months.

“Let me reiterate, our first and foremost reason for doing this is we had a signed criminal trespassing waiver and we wanted to make that first public announcement to them that they had to leave the property,” Farris said. “But really what we want to do is help these individuals, that’s the whole goal. If we can help them, we can assist them in their living conditions and help them find employment, then that’s what we want to do.”


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