Combating Drugs in Columbus Neighborhoods

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Another night, another neighborhood.

Members of Columbus Against Drugs, also known as C.A.D., say a quick prayer before hitting the streets.

Their target--a suspected drug dealer who lives on Rhodes Avenue in the Rose Hill area.

"We got people in this neighborhood too scared to go out after dark. Why? Because the drug dealers occupy the area, and if they come out, they know they will get into a physical altercation. They are intimidated," said Milton Lockett, a C.A.D. Member.

These residents say drugs have started a downward spiral in many neighborhoods around the city.

Nearly all of them deal with it in their own daily lives.

"I live next door to a 'place of business,' you can see it exchanged from automobile to automobile, you can see it hand to hand," said Liz Spradlen, a C.A.D. Member.

"All the arrests being made on a weekly basis, 90% of them have to do with drugs. The cutting, the breaking in, it all has to do with drugs," said Lockett.

Local deputies say that's the trend lately.

The Muscogee County Sheriff's Office just wrapped up its month-long Operation Falcon, arresting 97 people for felonies ranging from weapons charges to rape.

[CG :2 LINE CGMajor Mike MasseyMuscogee Co. Sheriff's Office]

"The drug trade is the root of most of these evils. Most if not all felony cases we have revolve in some form or fashion around the drug trade," said Major Mike Massey of the Sheriff's Department.

With their megaphones blaring, these concerned citizens continue to make their presence known, yelling "Drug dealer, drug dealer, you're no good, we want you out of our neighborhood!"

"Being one, you can do nothing about it, but being a group, we come together for the same purpose, and something can be done," said Spradlen