Councilman Adam McFadden puts forward a plan to end "Open Air Drug Markets"

Updated: 12/04/2013 11:32 PM
Created: 12/04/2013 11:12 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

Rochester residents say they've had enough of drug deals out in the open, and one City Council member says he has a proposal he thinks will help clean up some city neighborhoods.

Imagine being afraid to walk around your neighborhood or even leave your home. That’s how many people in our community say they live.


City Council member Adam McFadden has proposed a law he says will give police one more tool to go after drug dealers and other criminals. 

McFadden wants to make it illegal for people to just hang around on street corners, vacant lots and in front of homes and businesses. He thinks this lends itself to "open air drug dealing." He's proposed a law that would give police the power to arrest people that are violating the drug free zones, and this is what people had to say about it.

Sheila, a Rochester resident said, "I moved into my neighborhood three years ago. The first month that I moved into the neighborhood there had been two shootings."

She is so nervous about the crime in her northeast city neighborhood. She says it's constant.

"I would say anywhere from 8, 12 to 15 people congregating in certain areas of the neighborhood. They’re loitering, they're not moving. They’re standing there. I’ve seen drug deals, people hopping in and out of cars, and it's just blatant," said Sheila.

She came to this forum Wednesday, to support Adam McFadden’s proposal. If his law is approved, violators would face a fine of $300 and or jail. He will present the measure to the full city council for a vote.

"I wanted to give people an opportunity to voice their agreement, their disagreement, their solution, and their ideas or define the problem as they see it," said Councilman McFadden.

Elizabeth, a city resident said, "Since the summer it has become Grand Central Station of open air drug dealing. I can pretty much tell a lot of the people who are buying the drugs are not from the area"

But some people, like Minister Bernice Ladd wonders if this is enough. 

"A lot of times people are getting killed for drugs, but you're not dealing with the root, you're dealing with the surface," said Ladd.

The ordinance would give the police chief discretion to establish drug free zones. And police officers the automatic authority to make arrests. But some residents like Josiah Krause say they don't trust that police would fairly handle the additional authority. 

"When I see kids hanging around on street corners I don't see criminals. I see potential urban entrepreneurs that could make this city great again. We don't need another Kodak, we don't need another Windstream moving downtown, we need grassroots industries. We need to give these kids with the ideas the resources and the opportunities to change their communities," said Krause.

News10NBC will check in with Rochester Police to hear what they think. 

This proposal is expected to go before the full City Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting later this month.


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