'We're not safe. Our children can't play here any more'
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Neighbors on a Springfield street are taking matters into their own hands by trying to warn the community about a house they believe is involved in drug activity.
Six homes in the 200 block of 18th Street posted signs in front of their houses Saturday that accuse a neighbor of owning a drug house.
Springfield Police officials said they have been called out to the home on drug-related calls in the past.
"We served a search warrant at that house a couple weeks ago in regards to dope," said Springfield Police Sergeant Russ Boring, adding that officers arrested the homeowner.
Residents living along the street say they are armed and have surveillance video systems, but still feel unsafe living in the neighborhood.
Some residents living on the block have been in the neighborhood for over a decade. Frustrated by the lack of community concern, the Smith's put up hand-written signs in their front yard.
Riley Smith said his ten-year-old son is too afraid of the activities across the street to play in the family's front yard.
"We're fed up with what's going on. We're waiting for the city and police to take their action and to help us out. This has been going on for years," said Smith, who lives across the street from the suspected drug house. "We're not safe. Our children can't play here any more."
Residents said they are going to a city council meeting in a few weeks to try to get alleged "drug house" condemned.
"I think the neighbors are doing exactly what they need to do," said Sgt. Boring. "It's a legitimate concern for those folks. They want to have a nice place to raise their kids they don't want those people down there."
The police sergeant said residents on 18th Street are doing the correct thing by banding together and vocalizing their frustrations. By reporting the observed behaviors to police the residents are giving officers a chance to do their job, Sgt. Boring said.
He added that people suspecting a rental home is involved in drug activity, neighbors should get in touch with the rental company or landlord.