MATTHEWS – The Matthews Police Department hopes to work with a property owner in the Crestdale neighborhood whose property has a reputation for drug activity and gun violence, according to Chief Clark Pennington.
Two shootings at the property last year prompted his staff to be more proactive in dealing with repeated calls for service.
The property has generated 212 calls from May 2005 to August 2018, as well as more than 90 incident reports and 31 arrests. Officers wrote 14 incident reports last year, including three for assaults, three for narcotics violations, two missing persons and one overdose.
“This one particular property is kind of pulling more police resources and more police attention than any other property in town,” Pennington said.
The North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Nuisance Abatement Unit recommended police had a strong case for a nuisance abatement case. This is the first time police have deployed this method.
They’ve notified the property owner of the process and plan to identify concerns and come up with solutions to reduce the excessive number of police calls. If the property owner doesn’t comply, one potential result is the loss of property. Pennington said the intent, however, is not to take the property, but to reduce the number of calls for service.
He told town commissioners about his department’s efforts Jan. 28. Commissioner Kress Query thanked Pennington for being proactive, while commissioner John Urban asked what police are doing to keep neighbors informed.
“A lot of the calls for service we are receiving are coming from the adjacent property owners who are seeing this significant nuisance happening in their neighborhood and asking us to do something,” Pennington replied.