Thursday, April 25, 2013



Don't know what that is, do you?  It's a house that police set-up with cameras and audio wire taps to record the drug activity going on inside.  Here's a link to demonstrate what I'm talking about:

But, what I'd like to talk about here today is the negative impact these 'trap houses' have on neighboring residents:

I lived in a suburb of Washington, DC back in 2001.  It was a nice neighborhood.  A good mix of  races, religions and ages.  Kids played football in the street.  They rode their bicycles and skateboards down the sidewalks.  We all got along, and life was grand.  Until our local Police department (in conjunction with HUD) got the bright idea to set-up a trap house down the street.  Overnight, our neighborhood was under siege.  We stayed indoors much of the time, because crackheads came from all over to visit the trap house.  The kids didn't play outside anymore.  Morning, noon and night, the crackheads could be seen walking, like zombies - to the crackhouse.  We complained.  We took pictures.  Lawn ornaments began disappearing, and we all feared for our safety.  One of my neighbors openly threatened the drug dealer who supplied the house, and was threatened in return.  There were fights and stabbings.  We thought that would surely be the end of it, they would shut it down - but they didn't.  They allowed it to continue.

Did the crackheads realize they were visiting a trap house?  No, and I don't think they cared.  Did they know or understand how much they were ruining our neighborhood?  No, and I don't think they cared.  Did they know they were threatening our health, safety and welfare?  No, and I don't think they cared.

It did no good to complain to my landlord, who was a Housing Authority under HUD.  Because, I realized much later, that they were in cahoots with the local Police to run this 'sting' operation, it was a HUD operated property, and they approved the operation.  They were determined to do their part in our 'war on drugs', no matter the human cost in the process. I was a good tenant, and a respectful neighbor - but, this was asking too much of myself and my family.  

So, for the better part of six months we lived as no one should live - like prisoners in our own homes.  I only hope the police accomplished their goal, and caught the people involved in the drug ring;  However, they should know that it was at our expense, and that's unforgivable. That's what living in public housing under HUD feels like - hell.

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