Jonesboro cleans up crime-ridden street

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Hope Avenue in Jonesboro hasn't always lived up to its name.

"I never thought there would be a day where you weren't responding to call after call in the Hope Street area," said Trey Dupuy, an investigator with the Jonesboro Police Department.

Since officials with the City of Jonesboro took many of the properties into the custody of the court, a process known as "nuisance abatement," things have changed for the street.

"The crime stats in that area have had a huge fall off," said Dupuy.

On Friday city officials began enforcing abatement in the 1800 block of Cedar Heights, which is another area known for heavy crime.

Now 24 signs line the street explaining the city's rights.

This means anyone who moves into the area can not be a convicted felon nor can a felon be on the abated property.

It also allows officers to search cars and apartments without permission from the landowners or renters.

Although, a victory for the folks trying to keep it safe, not everyone is happy with the abatement or the sings.

"The sign says this property is a public nuisance. What are we rats? We aren't rats we are human beings," said Tonya Robinson, a Cedar Height's renter.

Robinson admits there is a lot of crime on her street, but says it's from outsiders. She says it is people who don't even call it home.

Tahesha Cochran says she's so insulted by the abatement she's moving, "Yeah I see the purpose in it but it still dictates who can and cannot come to your house."

As for people like Tonya and Tahesha, who are both convicted felons, they are not being asked to move since they lived there prior to the abatement.

"It's on a case by case basis and we've been very good on working with the landlords," said Carol Duncan, assistant city attorney.

However Duncan says no new convicted felons will be able to make a home in the Cedar Heights area.