Officials said they are taking steps to improve security at the Lillian P. Hussey School in Augusta after two people who had been living on the elementary school property were cited for trespassing. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — Officials from the Lillian P. Hussey School said they are taking steps to increase security after police found two people who had trespassed and were living on the school property on Gedney Street.

The gates around the elementary school are now locked and the camera system — which had not detected the individuals — has been adjusted, according to John Stonier, director of building and grounds at the school.

Augusta police officers found the two people after responding last week to reports of suspicious activity in the area. The people were issued trespass notices and removed from school property according to Sgt. Eric Lloyd. No arrests were made.

Police are withholding their names, ages and genders because they have not been charged with a crime.

Stonier said that a number of items including plastic sheets, boards and wood material were found on the grounds that did not belong to the school.

“We gave (the trespassers) a chance to take what they thought they needed. They only took some of the items and left the rest,” said Stonier. “It was a unique situation. We now have gates locked and cameras working.”


Stonier also noted that the rubber membrane on the school roof had been damaged, which he said was probably from items being brought up.

Police would not confirm where, specifically, the people had been living on the school grounds or how long they had been there. Residents alleged in comments on a community Facebook group that the pair had been staying on the school roof.

“I know when the notices were served, they were not on the roof, but that does not necessarily mean they could have not been there,” said Lloyd.

An anonymous member of the Facebook group posted that the pair had also broken into nearby homes and stolen things, including a ladder which they alleged was used to access the roof. Another person claimed that they were having “a little fire in a soda can.”

Lloyd noted that the police report did not mention any thefts. He would not divulge additional information about the evidence police collected or about the incident itself.

Lloyd declined to comment on whether the department has been issuing more trespass notices recently. The city has been grappling with not having a place for homeless people to go during the summer months when its overnight shelter is closed.

A city ordinance does not allow camping on city property but officials said private property owners are allowed to host campers on their land for up to 120 days.

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