Tulsa neighborhood is fighting drug houses

Wednesday, April 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

One Tulsa neighborhood is fighting diligently to get rid of drug houses. They call police weekly, they've written letters to the city council, the mayor, the prosecutor's office, and even the governor. KOTV's Lori Fullbright says the problem still exists.

Some neighbors even secretly videotape their neighbors, yet, still, they live in fear and routinely hear gunshots just outside their front doors. One neighbor hides her video camera in the bushes to get shots of what her neighbors are up to, she's even turned some of the tapes over to police.

'Betty' says, "It really is chaos, there's never any peace, loud music and cars driving all night. They have no respect for neighbors or the neighborhood."

Police agree there are known drugs houses on this street and say they've been working this area for the past two or three years.

Sgt. Daryl Webster, Tulsa Police Street Crimes: "We have managed to get inside some of those houses with warrants and recovered a lot of cocaine and firearms in that area."

The police department's crime mapping doesn't track drug calls, but, the little colored dots represent a whole host of other crimes that have happened in this neighborhood... including assaults, robberies and shooting. 'Bill' says "They'll be shooting, shooting right across the street, you can hear em."

Part of the trouble is as soon as the neighbors call police, the drug dealers have people who warn them to cool it. 'Bill' says, "Police explained they're doing all they can do, but, the guys shut down. They've even tried undercover cars and they shut down, even tried helicopters and they shut down." The neighbors have sent piles of letters to loads of officials. But, sometimes, the court system is slow also.

Sgt. Webster: "What I would tell these neighbors, is hang on. We've had one case that's been going on for about a year, so just be patient."

The neighbors, who've been fighting this drug war on their own street, say they won't let up.

'Betty' says, "This is my neighborhood. I've been here 28 years, raised my children here. I'm not going to quit, they're gonna have to leave."

Here are some warning signs that you have drug house in your neighborhood, lots of people stopping at a house, staying only a few minutes and leaving, at all hours of the day and night. Also, strong chemical smells coming from a house. You can call 911 to report the suspicious activity and tell them you want to remain anonymous.