Community leaders and police cracking down on drug problem in Franklin Township
There is a joint effort to fight back against drug-infested properties in Franklin Township.
The Franklin Township Police Department along with the township trustee spent hours on an undercover sting operation Thursday.
Police said drug dealers are trying to blend in with the neighborhood by dressing as construction workers.
"It's starting to feel like you throw a rock in any direction and they start hitting a dealer's house, " said Courtland Fisher, an officer with the Franklin Township Police Department.
Officers have been on the front lines of a vicious battle to get drugs off the streets in the community for a while. With few officers on the police force, Franklin Township Trustee John Fleshman walked door-to-door to tell neighbors about a levy. The levy passed earlier this year and more officers are now on the force. With more manpower, community leaders are busy cracking down.
"I get calls from people that it's right across from their grandma and they are scared to death. They're afraid to say something. What we're doing is taking our streets back one street at a time, one drug house at a time," said Fleshman.
Fleshman rode along with police during the sting operation Thursday. Police spotted out suspected drug houses and looked for patterns that dealers are now using to push drugs.
"You'll have a dealer that will find somebody that is needing money in these tight times. They will pay them X amount of money to use their home as a drug place," said Fleshman.
When you walk around Franklin Township, it's obvious that some progress is being made. Several places that used to be drug houses are now boarded up. Police say an apartment complex along Harrisburg Pike caused major drug problems. Officers are cracking down on it. Several apartments are boarded up, but there are drug addicts and squatters who've broken into two of the apartments.
The drug problem is an uphill battle, but township trustees, police and neigbors say they're not backing down.
"We've really taken a stance and we're going to clean these streets up and get this out," said Fleshman.