Decade in Review: Your Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealers

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This photo is one of the things I have to keep an eye on as I plan to delete things off the directory. I can't delete this, photo P1010007a.jpg.

Anyway, I always fear jinxing myself when I write that the drug problem is getting better. It is getting better. This photo was taken back in 2005 writing about a fellow a observed standing in 20F weather for no apparent good reason.

I was writing about our 'friendly neighborhood drug dealers' since 2005, though they were there long time before that. Residents on my street who lived here decades before I showed up would tell me about how the dealers were so bad they had even set up a table to do business. By the time I moved in, the only furniture they had were chairs. They would sit at the corner of 4th and R on found chairs. They'd be there when I came home from work in the evenings, and they'd be coming around when I left for work in the mornings.

The 'friendly' is a mix of truth and something else, sarcasm? A play on your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. With the exception of the teens trying to be and look hard the drug dealers were friendly. As I mentioned in one post, they'd say hello, I'd say hello back, keeping the friendly vibe even though I was calling the cops on them on occasion.

When did it turn? Well they aren't really gone, just less visible. But they became less visible, I guess around 2008, when I mentioned that a set of dealers had moved on. Well at least in my area of the TC. I do see on occasion someone who I believe "managed" the low level dealers. There were a lot of things that heppened to make our street less suitable for dealing. Demographics helped, meaning more dog walkers and joggers, fewer people who allowed/tolerated dealers hanging in front of their house, more people calling the cops, fewer people providing labor and shelter for the drug trade, and more homeowners. Better policing may have helped, with the shotspotter and better communication with email, but there is still room for improvement. Better city services also helped with the drug problem, fixing lights, ticketing cars, and the like as crime likes the shadows and dealers would stash drugs in unmoving (possibly stolen) cars.

For other parts of the city where the dealers haven't moved on, be they friendly or not, I hope that you can just keep chipping away at the problem. Keep calling the police, demand city services, demand enforcement, and make your area attractive to the types of people who will help make your neighborhood a nicer place. 

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