Officers in west Charlotte are cracking down on street-level crimes like drug dealing and prostitution.
Lt. Blake Hollar with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Metro division, said officers have had a greater presence along the Tuckaseegee Road corridor since early spring. That's around the time Hollar said the division tapped into the department's crime initiative fund to target recurring problems in the neighborhood.
"Part of the problems we were seeing were increased prostitution issues, narcotics," Hollar said.
Police said street-level crimes were happening in plain view of residents and community leaders, who made their concerns known to police.
Using their feedback and crime data, Hollar said officers were strategically placed on the streets. They patrol locations during times for peak criminal activity.
Residents like Dawn Smith said that in the last couple of months they have seen a difference, especially with the prostitution problem. Police agree.
"It's getting better. I don't see none now any at all," Smith said.
Police have arrested five women in the last few weeks and expect to arrest others for prostitution in the area. Hollar said in many cases, the criminals are repeat offenders and are sometimes busted with drugs as well.
"I have children," Smith said. "And when you see things like that, it makes you want to move out of the neighborhood. But I feel safe right now. I feel safe (because of police presence)."
"It makes me feel proud of the work my officers are doing because they are out there they want to make a difference, and they are making a difference," Hollar said.