PORTLAND -- Police arrested five people Wednesday after Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced the city would start cracking down on people who create long-term living spaces on the city's sidewalks
Two people were arrested downtown on offensive littering, giving police false information, warrant and camping charges.
Two people were arrested in Southeast Portland. One of the people was arrested for attempting to sell meth.
Another person was arrested near Northwest 16th Avenue and Northwest Johnson Street for illegally camping.
Portland police started monitoring sidewalks in July to keep track of people who were staying in one place and amassing large piles of belongings, according to the mayor's office.
Hales said the program began with the sidewalks outside City Hall after police were called there more than 100 times in the first half of the year. He also said he received complaints from Portland residents who said they were being harassed by protesters camping there.
This is the people s building, so there was an urgent need to start here, Hales said. We re rolling this out slowly and methodically. We re taking our time and doing this right.
He said the program aims to reduce the number of people living on Portland's sidewalks, but it's also about cutting down on lawlessness.
This is about activities that are appropriate and inappropriate in the right-of-way, Hales said. Some of the people involved have said that the laws don t apply to them. And they re wrong.
Certain activities--including drug and alcohol use on city sidewalks, or establishing a makeshift home on the sidewalk--aren t permitted, he added. And almost every Portland resident agrees with these rules.
He noted that there are still protesters at City Hall every day since the program began, and some still sleep there overnight, but people are no longer living there for weeks or months at a time.
Photos: City Hall camping protests
The Multnomah County District Attorney s Office is assisting police and city officials with the program. It's expected to continue throughout the summer.
Hales also shared a list of resources for Portland's homeless.