|Berkeley Parents Network|
|Home||Members||Post a Msg||Reviews||Advice||Subscribe||Help/FAQ||What's New|
Advice about Neighbors & Drugs
We live in the Leconte area and bought our house a couple years ago. The neighbors (who own their home, alas) recently installed at least one (maybe two) grow rooms along with a couple of very aggressive pit bulls to guard them. The awesome part is that because of a new fence they put up only we can see the grow rooms and dogs. Also, the pit bull run/grow room side is directly outside our kids' bedroom windows (joy!) as well as our family room window. The grow lights shine right in if we don't keep blackout curtains up at night and open windows are NOT an option any more.
The dog run is always kind of horrifying, but I worry it's just shy of being genuinely neglectful. Likewise, I'm pretty sure they have at least two more dogs on the property, but I don't think they have more than four that would put them at odds with the city dog ordinance. And the dogs bark (and fight with each other) frequently at night but not quite enough that we have so far felt like calling the police is appropriate. The grow room(s) may be legal since the dude that lives there has disabled plates his car.
I guess my question is... can I call the police and ask if the grow room is legal? At what point is it appropriate to call about dogs, the condition of their living space, and their barking? Because our kids are small (1 & 3 years) the dogs seriously disturb me and the barking/fighting is definitely frustrating and loud. The grow room doesn't bother me so much except that it results in the dogs, to be honest. I'm likewise concerned that we're the only people that can see this situation. If anyone calls to report them it'll be obvious who did it.
Normally I'm an advocate for talking directly with neighbors when there's a problem, but this seems beyond that and to be honest the few interactions I've had with the neighbors and the people around their house have not filled me with confidence. Does anyone have any advice for us? Tired of the dog fighting, grow lights, and pot stench
We have a 20 year old male neighbor who is on Meth. He is an addict and I think Bi-polar. The police have come to his house many times. He lives with his parents who are old and don't know what to do. He screams at his friends and parents outside his house and if our family is outside then it is really scary. I feel for the family and I know he has been to rehab but I don't think it ever stuck. We live a few doors down from this family but we have to walk by his house to get to bus and BART. We have two little kids (grammar school). Is there anything I can do to protect my young children? Is there anything I should be concerned about? I know he has taken many things from his parents and sold it for drugs. I am now afraid and have had panic attacks when I have heard him screaming. I know his parents care however they don't know how to handle the situation. The police have come when he has been out of control. However the police don't seem to affect this guy at all. Moving is not an option. I have read a great deal about Meth and how it affects users. I just wanted to know what I can do to feel safe. What can I do to keep my 2 young children from being involved. Any help would be very much appreciate. Thank you! Anon
Involve every single City and/or County agency you can think of. The more agencies you involve, the higher on the radar this address will be. We called: Police; Adult Protective Services; Animal Control (when the dogs got out); Code Enforcement (cars parked too long, on the lawn, couch on the front porch). EVERY TIME YOU CALL state that this is a problem address with a known meth addict with his name. Believe me, they will soon get to know the son's name. Call every time there is screaming to report domestic violence against the elderly with drug involvement. EVERY. TIME. Ask for follow up on all of your calls. You can also report things like code enforcement via the Internet.
Don't worry about calling ''too often.'' Meth is a VERY dangerous drug and you cannot take chances. We literally didn't go outside on our street for three years except to get into the car. It was terrible.
Take down the license plates of every car that comes to the house, including the parents. Don't feel guilty; by the parents giving harbor to the son, they are putting you and your children (and themselves) at risk. We had many ''drop-ins'' for those coming up to get their fix; most were in the middle of the night, but if they parked in front of our house, I did my best to get the plate. If you notice that any of the plates are expired, call DMV and the police and hopefully the cars will be towed.
Look up the name of the son on the state registry of probation (can't remember the Website, just look it up) to see if he is on parole or probation. If he is, contact local law enforcement to connect with the probation/parole officer.
Connect with other neighbors, both those on your street and those the street behind who share a fence with this house. See if you can get them to call in complaints as well. We all had a list of the various phone numbers, plus the son's name and the house address to make calling easy.
DO NOT talk to the son nor the parents. The son is incredibly dangerous.
Contact your City Councilperson. Ours got responses from us from various departments. He also helped us connect City PD with County Sheriff's, who in turn connected us to the probation officer. He also hosted a community meeting with neighbors, City PD, County Sheriff's, Code Enforcement, etc. to discuss strategies.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but really a lot of it making lots of phone calls, and hopefully getting other to do the same. Good Luck!
Depending on the severity of the situation, it could take up to 10 days before a social worker goes out to follow up on the complaint. If you choose to go this route and they take your complaint, be diligent about checking back in. Like a lot of senior services, they have been cut back and don't have the staffing they should, thus you may not know what happens unless you try to find out. Also, if the social worker goes out and nothing much is found, I would keep trying as creating a paper trail is important. If they don't take the complaint, in the least, you can consult with them for other intervention ideas. Good luck....... anon
We live in the North berkeley Hills. We have seen the police reports regarding a neighbor who was busted for transportation of Meth (2 oz) for sale. Neighbors have seen glass equipment that could be used for a Meth lab. There is late night activity and odd people coming and going all night. We are forming a Watch group, documenting licenses & visitors and talking to BPD. I've heard of H&S codes that may help us get the City of Attorney's office to file a civil court suit. Has anyone had to deal with type of situation or have any ideas how we can get our neighborhood safe again? Concerned on Cragmont
The Sacramento DA office did in fact file a ''drug abatement'' lawsuit against our neighbors on behalf of the City. This was in response to the numerous calls over several months of issues at the house. Basically, a drug abatement lawsuit has more stringent requirements than a regular civil lawsuit, and is a result of the City getting sick and tired of getting called to go out to a particular address (for example, Code Enforcement had so many calls against the property that they simply tallied up the total number of infractions and delivered them in one large pile of papers, totalling over $10,000!).
We (the neighbors) have banded together via email and share information with one another. We had a community meeting with our POP officers, who coached us on writing ''Declarations'' for the DA to use in the lawsuit.
We have worked very closely with our POP (problem-oriented police) officers; they are the folks you call for non-emergency calls. There are POP officers for each geographic area; they are not many, but they are very available to us. They have helped us understand what we are to do when we see something/someone who isn't supposed to be at the property. We have contacted our city councilman, who has been in touch with the City Attorney's office.
We have tried to contact the homeowners insurance company to let them know about the TWO huge drug raids that happened on our otherwise (and formerly quiet) street, but we are unable to get that information (who the insurance company is). Our hope is that either the company would raise rates to the point the owners could not afford it, or call in the note.
We call the City on every single thing we see: Animal Control (they have two very aggressive dogs that are often out in front, off-leash), Code Enforcement (our neighbors have broken-down cars that sit for weeks, built an illegal dwelling in the backyard, things like that), POP officers for loud music, people working on cars in the street, cars parked in front of our houses in the middle of the night, waiting for their drugs to be ready. Although it has been a long process and is far from over, we are keeping our fingers crossed that the owners will be forced to sell/house will be re-possessed. Good luck! Claire
|Home | Post a Message | Subscribe | Help | Search | Contact Us|
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website! Read more, and see how you can help: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org