Cordele police beef up patrol for one drug infested community - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cordele police beef up patrol for one drug infested community

January 20, 2006

Cordele--People who live in one small, Cordele neighborhood are determined to clean up crime in the area. They're backing a plan by Cordele Police to beef up patrol and make the community safer.

One Cordele street is especially notorious for drug activity. "They made this like a base headquarters, this is the ring place where you distribute everything, everybody was shopping up and down the streets looking for what they want," says resident, Mattie Clark.

Clark says the crime here in the 500 block of West 14th Avenue is a slap in the face to the people who live here.

"Disrespects me too!" she says.

"What we've done now is making the area uncomfortable for people to buy drugs, and if you don't have customers you don't have dealers," says Cordele police chief, Dwayne Orrick.

To clean up the drug infested community, Orrick has increased police patrol in the area dramatically.

"The officers set back, and averaged out about every ten minutes a drug transaction was going on," says Orrick.

Orrick says rundown houses serve as an invitation for trouble.

"Drug dealers then come in, drunks standing around those buildings, they camouflage themselves in that environment," says Orrick.

Run down buildings are not only a magnet for drugs but also for loitering and even prostitution.

"We did an operation where we were picking up some prostitutes in the area," says Orrick.

"I do applaud the chief for what they're doing because they're cleaning our yard up," says Clark.

As well as the entire community. "We've notified community development. They're initiate investigation to help clean up the delaptated buildings, abandon cars," says Orrick.

Since police stepped up protection in the area three weeks ago, crime has dropped significantly, and even Mattie is starting to see a change.

"It's beautiful to me, ain't nobody hanging around," says Clark.

But residents are hanging on to hope that their neighborhood will be cleaned up for good.

Police also hope to add more streets lights and start a watch group called "Police and Citizens Together."

Feedback: news@walb.com?CordeleNeighborhoodPatrol

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