Dennis Matheny says he is so fed up with the drug activity in his Hamilton neighborhood that he sat outside Monday in the 80-plus degree temperatures to warn off anyone thinking of selling or buying drugs.
Sitting behind a table with a large sign reading “No Drugs Today,” Matheny, 69, told the Journal-News that Parkamo Avenue, where he lives, has become known in the city as “Heroin Alley.”
“It used to be a great neighborhood and now heroin has just about destroyed it,” Matheny said. “I’ve seen people die (on their back porch) and I have seen them overdose right here on the corner and have found needles right here on the corner and have had to pick them up.”
Matheny’s peaceful protest drew the interest of Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit, who stopped by to discuss the issue with the resident.
“I think it is great,” Bucheit said of Matheny’s efforts. “He cares about this neighborhood, and he and I and some neighbors got together and I think we have a good plan moving forward. We are going to sit down coming up later this week and we are going to clean this neighborhood up.”
Bucheit said that the area is a problem spot for drugs and he is hoping that residents across the city will help “be the eyes of police,” like Matheny was doing on Monday in order to help combat drugs.
Matheny’s granddaughter Sarah Houston, 27, said many in the neighborhood have responded in a positive way.
“This is really positive and every motorist driving past and the neighbors have been really supportive,” Houston said.