Bangor police officers spent part of this week visiting homeless encampments and letting the residents know they need to find other accommodations.

The makeshift tents pop up in areas of the city that are abandoned in the winter, like a stretch of land between the Bangor Municipal Golf Course and Bass Park. Tarps are thrown over tree limbs, or some folks actually have tents to stay in, as they try to survive the cold. The encampments are usually strewn with trash and gear that gets left behind when the occupants move on. Then it's up to the landowners and the city to clean them up.

So, Bangor police will visit periodically to tell the residents that they need to move on. Officers told WABI-TV that it's not about harassing the homeless population. But, they say, being forced to move on is often the push that these folks need to find other accommodations, like a shelter, or maybe even permanent housing.

It's not a pleasant task for law enforcement, but they say it's a necessary task. Safety is also a concern, as police say there's a lot of substance abuse, mental health issues, and even criminal intent among the populations, and the tent cities can turn violent.

Bangor Police give the residents a week or so to make other arrangements before actually clearing the camp.

More From WQCB Brewer Maine