Wheeling copies Martinsburg drug house abatement program, hoping to cleanup town

Ohio County

WHEELING, W.VA. (WTRF) — Police now have a drug house abatement program in place.

If there is documented evidence of drugs or other vice crimes–either two misdemeanors or one felony in a one year period, it can go into effect. Police will submit the information to the municipal court, and the judge can pull in the property owner and tell them to make some changes.

Most of the time that’s going to involve evictions of the players obviously. But it may further involve some security measures, extra lighting, cutting down this bush, some cosmetic features. And then also enhanced reviewing of future tenants, potentially not renting to convicted drug offenders for example.

Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department

The chief says it was modeled after an ordinance in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
He said Wheeling City Council passed it last July, but it was just now activated due to a delay involving the coronavirus.

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