Program Aims At Evicting Drug-Dealing Tenants

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(Memphis) Bickford Avenue is a quiet street in North Memphis.

It's lined with homes occupied mostly by the elderly.

But investigators say a drug dealer rented a room in one those houses.

"I didn't know and i live right next door," Ada Wilson said.

He was evicted in April as part of the Shelby County Drug Dealer Eviction program.

"You have to have the drug dealers stay away. There are lots of kids over here. The community center over here so I think its pretty good that they did that," Wilson said.

More than 4,000 drug dealers have been evicted across the county since the program started 17 years ago.

Now there's  a new tool to help get rid of even more. A map found on this website shows where the evictions occurred. You can also find out the names of who was evicted and when.

Property owners and managers learned about the new tool at a meeting with Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich and her predecessor Bill Gibbons who now works for the state.

"We've brought you all together to try and make your jobs a little easier," Weirch said.

Most crimes Gibbons says happen in rental properties.

"You just have people hanging around and that's the beginning of something," property manager Lisa Chairs said.

Chairs manages a property in Raleigh. She's had to evict drug dealers in the past.

"It can be very frustrating and tiresome.It's a lot of work and its not safe," she said.

But now that shes armed with this new website.

"I can't wait to get to work tomorrow and try the new data base," she said.

She's hopeful she and other property owners will be able to keep out this negative element that only causes them trouble.

The Eviction Program also encourages residents to get involved.

The DA's office says residents can use an online form or call Crimestoppers at 528-2274  to inform them of the drug problem.

The DA's office says if there is enough evidence the landlord will be notified and will evict the drug- dealing tenants.

If the landlord fails to start eviction proceedings within five days, the DA's office will begin the proceedings.