East-side residents voice concerns over drug use, crime

KOLD East-side residents voice concerns over drug use and crime

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Thursday night, many fed up east-side residents took part in a community meeting, looking for answers.

It comes after a drug treatment clinic opened on 5th and Craycroft Road a few years ago. Several area residents feel it’s attracting a bad crowd and increasing crime in the area.

As part of a series of meetings, homeowners voiced their concerns to law enforcement at the Police Station on Alvernon Way and 22nd Street.

While several ideas were discussed, most residents felt a larger police response is needed.

At times, conversations got heated.

Residents said they are dealing with people breaking into their homes and cars, stealing their mail and personal belongings, using drugs in backyards, alleyways and washes and leaving trash all over.

One woman says while treatment is important, neighborhood safety is too.

“Is it fair to the 100-year-old lady who has someone shacking up in her backyard? Is it fair to the Mitman community where they have needles and the one-year-old comes up and says ‘Daddy! Daddy!’ [while holding a needle]?" asked Mary.

Not everyone at the meeting pointed to the Cope Community Services as the sole reason for what these neighborhoods are experiencing. Some say homelessness was already a problem in washes nearby. One woman told us apartment complexes in the area have become a hub for criminal activity.

A Cope Community Services representative was at the meeting. He assured neighbors Cope Community Services will work with them to address some of their concerns. He was not able to speak with us on camera and we did reach out to the Cope Community Services for comment. We are waiting to hear back.

Police at the meeting said a lot of this is perception, as “reported crime” has been going down on the citywide, including in the east side communities, over the past year. However, officers encourage residents to email the Tucson Police Department with specific locations of where criminal activity is happening so they can target those areas with extra patrols.

The meetings will be held the first Thursday of each month. We’ll post information on the time and location of the next meeting as soon as those details are released.

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