Clarksburg residents say new ordinance can help change communities

Crime

Last week, Clarksburg Police issued an order of abatement to an owner-occupied property because of the city’s Crime-Free Rental Housing Drug House Ordinance. 

Police said this new ordinance, along with help from the Greater Harrison Drug Task Force, allows them to provide neighbors with action in their communities.

“Well, last year, we did a canvasing of the neighborhood asking the different residents from around here ‘What is the number one concern that they see?’ And overwhelmingly its been the drug epidemic here in Harrison County, especially here in North View, and they don’t feel comfortable having their kids walk down the street,” said James Burrough, North View resident. 

To stop the drug epidemic and help bring pride back to its streets, Clarksburg City Council, with help from law enforcement, enacted a drug house ordinance.

“Well the drug house ordinance is a rental registration as well as prohibiting drug use and selling of drugs within residential or rental properties or owner-occupied properties,” said Martin Howe, city manager. 

Just last week, Clarksburg Police, along with the Greater Harrison Drug Task Force, issued an order of abatement to a Clarksburg residence. 

“What it allows us to do is hold the landlords or the owner-occupied residences accountable for their elicit activity that is occurring on their properties and disrupting the communities,” said Chief Robert Hilliard. 

The ordinance allows the city to fine homeowners and even condemn properties if the issue isn’t resolved.

“Anybody whom owns rental property shall register those units, the structure and list the tenants so that they can have an inspection over the next two years, and our goal is to inspect all the rental units throughout the city,” explained Howe. 

The ordinance also places responsibility on community members to call the Clarksburg Police if they suspect suspicious activity.

“With every problem we have, its also a challenge that we can accept and take it by the horns and say we aren’t going to let this go. We are going to the best we can to help our neighbors out,” said Burrough. 

If you suspect suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call the Clarksburg Police at (304) 624-1610 or the Drug Task Force at (304) 848-7053.

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