Safe Communities Act shuts down suspected drug house
Springhill Police Doug Williams (left) and Josh Demers stood vigil at an Elm Street apartment after police and Cumberland Countys Integrated Street Crime Unit executed a search warrant and Community Safety order last week, evicting the occupant for suspected drug activity. One male was arrested and brought before the courts for drug related offenses. (Christopher Gooding - The Record)
By Christopher Gooding
SPRINGHILL - The sign on the door said it all, "Safe Community Warning…Drug Activity."
The occupants of apartment 15B on Elm Street were unceremoniously told to take a hike by the Springhill Police and Cumberland County Integrated Street Crime Unit last week after police executed a search warrant, charged one male resident for drug related offences and issued an eviction notices backed by the Safe Communities Act.
Outside an officer stood sentry at the doorway of the apartment while two more were along the road near police cruisers as the order was posted on the door.
"Charges are being laid and there is a young male before the courts charge with two counts of possession with the intent of trafficking," Ken Matthews of the Integrated Street Crime Unit said.
The Safe Communities order gives the occupant until Mar. 7, to vacate the premises. Working with the owner of the apartment building, police can evict people from their homes for suspicion of habitual use contrary to the law. Pending an investigation, suspected bootlegging, prostitution or drugs can land violators onto the streets. Failure to comply with a Safe Community order would see police call on the Supreme Court for the power to remove the accused. The act, however, cannot evict the suspect if they are the owner of the home.
This eviction was the second of its kind in Springhill, the first taking place more than a year and-a-half ago.
The Integrated Street Crime Unit received a great deal of praise from Springhill's acting chief Dean Ruddick. In his report to town council, Ruddick noted the unit has been very busy and its work with the Springhill Police Services has seen a huge amount of progress in combating crime in the area.
"The seven members have been very busy in our town in the past month," Ruddick said. "Lots of seizures of drugs, long guns, a stolen ATV. They're doing a really good job."