Mott Haven neighbors say city needs to step up against rampant drug use
People living near P.S. 277 in Mott Haven cleaned up the area after they say trash and signs of drug-use were all over the sidewalks near the school.
News 12 first spoke with residents about the trash in the area in March. Since then, residents say they have seen more NYPD patrols in the area. State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo also organized a cleanup.
However, neighbors took videos showing evidence of continued drug-use piling up at a vacant lot one block over from the school on Saint Ann's Avenue.
After they say calls to city agencies went nowhere, residents took care of the problem themselves by closing and locking the gate to the lot.
"We did it at night, risking our safety, but we did it," says Jose Galdamez. "I don't know how long it's gonna last."
Resident Fausto Garcia says the quick fix makes him feel safer to have his children in the area.
"It's been great because so far, I can go into my backyard and my daughters also play in the backyard," he says. "We feel more safe now that we can enjoy our neighborhood."
Neighbors say this probably isn't a permanent fix and it's only a matter of time before someone gets back in.
They are asking the New York City Sanitation Department and the owner of the lot to help clean up.
The New York City Sanitation Department released a statement to News 12 saying: "Our Environmental Police Unit has this location on their enforcement route, and it is inspected multiple times per week. We will be revisiting it today, as well. We appreciate the community reaching out and will continue to do whatever we can to give New Yorkers the clean streets they expect and deserve."