Burlington cops go door to door to try to stop drug activity - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington cops go door to door to try to stop drug activity

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Burlington cops are targeting neighborhoods with frequent drug activity asking residents to report any illegal activity they see.

They're calling them "knock and talks." Burlington police, teaming up with state and federal officials, are trying to get eyes and ears inside some of the city's worst drug neighborhoods.

"I think it's great. I think it's about time," said Linda Pidgeon. She's lived in Farrington's Mobile Home Park for 30 years. She says she sees drug deals on a daily basis.

"There are so many drug dealers here. There's one guy who just brings them in, doesn't care what they do, doesn't care how they get their money as long as he gets his," Pidgeon said.

Police gave her and nearly 500 other Burlingtonians in five neighborhoods a handout with information on how to contact them with information.

"This is something the police can't do alone, nor can the community do alone. This is something we need to come together on," Burlington Police Lt. Art Cyr said.

He hopes people will come forward and that information gathered Wednesday will help the department down the road.

"If you're one of the individuals taking part in this illegal activity, you need to be looking over your shoulder because sooner or later it will catch up to you. And sooner or later we will come around and you will be arrested and you will be prosecuted," Cyr said.

Many people declined to talk to Channel 3 News on camera; they said they'd feel like a snitch. But off camera they told us they think it's falling on deaf ears. Those who would talk to us on camera, had a different opinion.

"I just think it's nice to see them out and about and meeting all of us. I personally think it's a great effort," said Anna Evola, who lives on King Street.

Bruce Fowler also applauds the effort. He says the growing illegal activity on King Street is too much for him.

"I'm not going to point fingers, but it's not good. It's constant, all day, all night," he said.

He's lived on the street for two years but says he plans to move.

"I think this is just a really neat building and a neat neighborhood, but it just really sucks that there's just so much garbage going on," Fowler explained.

Cyr says Wednesday's knock and talks are just the beginning. The department has more planned for later this summer.

"We're not going to forget the problem and go away, go back to the police department and say we've handed out letters, we've fixed the problem. That doesn't fix the problem. We are still actively involved in enforcement," he explained.

Cyr says it will take time to see how effective the knock and talks are, and that getting to the root of the problem also requires treatment and rehabilitation. The letter handed out includes information on how to seek treatment.

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