FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Police in Fayetteville are hitting the streets this week in an effort to help a neighborhood in distress.
Police, along with other city officials were out Tuesday making what they call a "clean sweep" through a community along Murchison Road near Jasper Street and E.E. Smith High School.
Law enforcement officials, animal control officers and Sanitation Department personnel began the so-called "wellness walk down" Tuesday morning.
As part of the three-day effort, police are watching for crime and will make arrests. Sanitation officials are looking for debris in yards and junked cars, and animal control officers will make sure residents have their pets vaccinated and properly secured.
The police department says the area has long been troubled by crime and neglected property. A similar neighborhood sweep in January in the Massey Hill was effective.
"This neighborhood has a lot of needs such as what Massey Hill had," Fayetteville police Capt. Brad Chandler said. "We get a lot of complaints for inspections violations, zoning violations, a lot of calls of loose dogs running around."
Police officers issued 18 citations, one city noise ordinance, recovered a stolen vehicle, knocked on 238 doors and made 137 citizen contacts. Four people were arrested on outstanding warrants ranging from statutory rape to breaking and entering.
City inspectors completed seven condemnations, issued 23 vehicle violations for junked vehicles; and animal control distributed 39 notices.
Police say they are not strictly out to issue violations and want to educate the public about laws and how to get help.
Police say they do plan follow-up visits, and they could expand this project to other communities.
"I think this is a good program that they're doing to walk the neighborhood, to learn the people and the neighborhood," said James Currie, who has lived in the Murchison Road area for 39 years.
Currie said he would like to see police do this more often.