(Horn Lake, MS) When a drive-by shooting happened a few doors away from his home, Mike Stage noticed it started with new neighbors in a rental home.Then he noticed his neighborhood had a lot of rental homes.
”They’re like drug dealers that they rent homes to. Whoever’s got the money. Like somebody selling crack or something," said Stage.
He says Horn Lake needs to hold property owners accountable when it comes to whom they choose to rent.Stage says he’s counted dozens of rental houses within walking distance of his home.
He complains that, for the most part, those rentals bring in temporary residents with no stake in the neighborhood.Aldermen say Horn Lake already has some property laws on the books.
”We do have ordinances on the books to address all the property owners and rental properties, on the books at this time,” explained Horn Lake Alderman Charlie Roberts.
However he admits the city doesn’t have the manpower to enforce them.
Meanwhile, the mayor says the city has a renewed emphasis on public safety.
"Horn Lake has the lowest assault percentage in the County from what I’ve been told and the specific instance of the drive-by shooting, those people were arrested that very night,” said Mayor Allen Latimer.
He cites the reorganization of Neighborhood Watch and says the more people report crime, the more police can focus on problem areas.
”We want all or our citizens to be safe and enjoy living in Horn Lake," said Latimer.
Stage just wants the current laws enforced, and perhaps a few, new, stronger ones, ”We got some real good police officers here, but we need some ordinances to get a grip on these landlords is what we need.”
He says he plans to stay on top of city leaders until they take action.