Growing homeless population at Atlanta's airport sparks safety, health concerns

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Atlanta police officers working at the world’s busiest airport are speaking out about the increase in incidents caused by an ever-growing homeless population.

While the homeless cannot go through the security gates without a pass, that does not stop them from setting up camp across the North and South Terminals as well as the connecting Atrium, which was built as a respite for airline passengers.

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FOX 5 News has been reporting on the issue for months, but the stories being told by airport employees seem to be increasing in their intensity to threaten passengers’ health and safety.

Officers said men have used the airport floor as a toilet. One man who was totally naked defecated and then decided to lounge on airport furniture, according to police.

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Officers said some homeless have open sores and need to be somewhere else other than the airport.

The complaints from police follow a change in enforcement. They said the city of Atlanta law department has instructed the officers not to do the daily sweeps they once did. That change means they cannot enforce basic trespass laws.

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Police estimate the homeless population has tripled since the change in policy and the end of the count was before the weather turned cold.

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