After police found and demolished two transient camps, Snoqualmie Police Chief Steve McCulley says the time is right for the city to bring its own books up to a Valley-wide standard.
With neighboring North Bend banning outdoor camping in public places in January, Snoqualmie City Council is considering a similar ordinance this month.
The new rule, slated for action May 13, bans camping in public parks, trails and open spaces. Outdoor camping at events such as Relay for Life would be allowed by special permit.
Snoqualmie officers closed two transient camps in the last year, the first near Sandy Cove Park in 2012, then earlier this year near the foot of Snoqualmie Parkway. At the parkway, police photos documented a hodgepodge of tarps, beer cans and needles.
McCulley draws a line between homeless and transients. The Valley has limited resources to help the truly homeless, he says. But he raises public safety concerns about transients and their camps, and points to hazards of drugs and crime.
“The camps oftentimes are abandoned,” McCulley told the Record. “Kids find them. It creates a real health and public safety hazard.”
McCulley adds that it’s also appropriate for Snoqualmie police to be on the same page regarding the law in both cities. With Snoqualmie assuming police duties in North Bend next March, it’s better for officers to have a single procedure across both communities.
Snoqualmie recently aligned its fireworks law with North Bend.
McCulley said he’s working closely with North Bend City Administrator Londi Lindell to make sure that the cities are talking when new ordinances are added or laws reviewed.
“We’ve got clear lines of communication,” McCulley said.