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Denver police: Camping ban gently enforced

May 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM

DENVER, May 29 (UPI) -- Denver police will use arrest as the "last option" when enforcing a ban on camping by the homeless that took effect Tuesday, a spokesman said.

The goal, police said, is to get the homeless into shelters, Denver's KCNC-TV reported. If no space is available, arrests will not be made.

"It's going to be enforced in a very passive manner and arrests being the least desirable and last option," Detective John White said.

The City Council passed the ban two weeks ago. It bars camping anywhere in the city on public or private land, and imposes fines of up to $1,000 and jail sentences of up to a year.

Some Occupy Denver protesters have been camping in the city along with homeless residents. Lenore Gilmore told KCNC she does not plan to go away.

"I want a ticket. I want to face a judge and ask a judge what they expect people to do when they have nowhere else to go," Gilmore said.

But Fillmore Lankford, who has been camping out with Occupy Denver since October, told The Denver Post not everyone agrees with her.

"Everyone is wondering what everyone else is going to do," he said. "I'm leaving, going to go to the mountains and camp like a real human being."

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