5 ways one Hamilton neighborhood is fighting heroin


5 ways one Hamilton neighborhood is fighting heroin

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Steve Allen signs a list in support of community members who are taking a stand against drugs in their Hamilton neighborhood, started by Denny Matheny on Parkamo Avenue. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Neighbors from the Parkamo Avenue area in Hamilton have rallied together in the past few weeks to try and rid their streets of drug activity.

Here are five of the notable steps they have taken:

1. No Drugs Today

Pastor Dennis Matheny, 69, felt the drug activity in his Hamilton Parkamo Avenue neighborhood had grown so out of control that he took a “No Drugs Today” message to the drug dealers and addicts.

He sat a table in front of his home with the message on a placard, as he was joined by hundreds of neighbors and others, including Police Chief Craig Bucheit.

2. Meet with police

Matheny’s activism led to a neighborhood meeting last week with the Hamilton Police Department.

From that meeting, Bucheit said that an officer will become a liaison in the Parkamo neighborhood and will be responding to information provided by residents. He advised the crowd to call 911 if there is an issue with public intoxication.

3. Form a neighborhood watch

Bucheit said that homeowners have a right to legally protect themselves, but cautioned against a vigilante approach.

Instead he asked that residents use a neighborhood watch approach that he said will get underway immediately in the Parkamo neighborhood.

4. More screening by landlords

Several landlords have expressed concern about how to evict drug dealers or addicts from property they own.

“We do have tools with ordinances that will help with evictions, but we need landlords also to be more mindful now when screening,” Bucheit said. “We can work together to make a difference.”

5. Follow-up with addicts

Dr. Scott Rasmus, executive director of the Butler County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services Board, said he plans to meet with the Hamilton Police Department to discuss the implementation of a data integration system that will track overdoses from EMS runs.

Rasmus said he hopes to use the information to get treatment for addicts and to get them off the streets.

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