Citizen voices concerns over growing drug area in Commerce

Commerce – For the second meeting in a row, a citizen voiced his concerns before the Commerce City Council over a section of town that may have a growing drug and traffic problem. Charles Yates addressed his concerns about the situation along Washington, Lee, and Greenville Streets in Commerce. Yates said he has witnessed drugs deals, over 20 youths openly smoking marijuana with small children nearby, and heavy pedestrian traffic in the middle of the street.

Yates said an increased police presence after his initial appearance before the council had helped.

YATES:After I was here, the Commerce P.D. was nice enough to park a squad car over at the beauty shop on the corner of Greenville and Washington (streets), (and it) had a tremendous effect on the trafficking going on in the neighborhood. However, that has since ceased.

Yates also cited situations where police had been called, but were not seen in the area after hours of waiting.

Late in the meeting, City Manager Bill Shipp addressed Yates' previous council visit. Shipp said patrols had been increased in the area and ways to utilize a group effort to improve the situation were being examined.

SHIPP:So we have started discussion already between Community Development and police in ways we might be able to impact that situation over there.

Shipp also said involving landlords of properties in the area may be key, but it could likely be a slow process to alleviate the problems.