Drugs houses have Fairfield Police chief's attention

By Sherea Harris

FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Fairfield's Police Chief says some neighborhoods in his city are plagued with crack houses.

He says several abandoned homes have been turned into these drug havens, and it's a problem he says the police department can't control by itself.

Chief Pat Mardis gets complaints about these crack houses routinely. But he says every time his officers respond to these locations, the suspects hanging around the homes flee.

Along  42nd Street, there are several of these alleged crack houses.

Some of the abandoned homes are boarded, but the drug dealers and addicts find a way to get in them.

Citizens say they want to see the crack houses torn down.

Mardis wants the homes raided, but going under cover to pin-point the dealers is difficult.

That's because the police department has staffing and funding problems.

"We are small department.  Everyone knows our officers,  so it's hard to get undercover buys," said Chief Pat Mardis. "It's hard to even do a surveillance down here."

"I just wish they would do something with all the empty houses and stuff so they (suspects) can't do this anymore," said Shelley Jones.

Chief Mardis says since he can't get any help from state law enforcement, he's taking the issue to the sheriff's office.

He plans to talk to the sheriff about getting assistance from the county's Violent Crime Task Force which consists of the ATF and several other agencies.

He wants those agencies to concentrate on that area to conduct raids and make arrests.

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