Friday, April 4, 2008

T-S Puts Positive Spin on Police Raid

Posted By on Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:01 AM

The Times-Standard is running a piece today on a yesterday's drug raid by the Humboldt Drug Task Force and the Eureka Police Department in the 300 block of West Del Norte Street. That's City Councilman Larry Glass' neck of the woods. And the article mentions a recent community meeting Glass organized which included the Eureka police chief, the head of the Humboldt Drug Task Force and the Eureka fire chief.

"It's been in progress for a long time, but I think the meeting gave a nice little push over the top," Glass said, adding that he received plenty of calls from constituents on Thursday, once word of the raids got out.

"They are just ecstatic -- that's the best way I can put it," Glass said. "They feel empowered that their voices had finally been heard and something had been done about it."

Many people at that meeting expressed concern about the property, and some said that it had been in the "deplorable" state the police found in it in yesterday for well over a year, but nothing had been done about it. Why was that? they asked. What does the city need to clean places like this up? More money, the agencies responded. Well then tax us, the man said.

One man in the front row said he knew it was a meth lab. Jack Nelson, who heads up the drug task force, asked him how he knew for certain. They told me themselves, the man said, and I've seen smoke coming from the place at night. Nelson told the gathered crowd that he was more than willing to listen to people's complaints about problem properties, but he needed evidence. Take pictures, he said; record the activities of the inhabitants.

Now we're being told that the neighbors feel empowered. That's not the vibe I got from the meeting -- please correct me if I'm wrong. My read on the situation is that it takes getting the chief of police, the head of the drug task force and the fire chief into one room and shaming them publicly in order to get them to act summarily.

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Japhet Weeks

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