Fighting blight in Hopewell

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – When it comes to blight and junk cars in Hopewell, lifelong resident Melissa Shearin, calls it an eyesore that can attract crime.

"They're on cinder blocks with busted windows. Tarps over them to try and cover them up but there's no covering it up," said Shearin.

Back in February, the city launched "Operation Clean Sweep" to help combat the problem. Now, the program is no more, but police say, it's been replaced with something better. An effort called "Same Officer, Same Neighborhood."

"We still want to go area by area to bring our city up to where it should be as far as quality of life issues," said Lt. Roger Dean.

Under "Operation Clean Sweep" volunteers and police would canvass neighborhoods every month in search of violators. Under the "Same Officer, Same Neighborhood" program the canvassing is done daily with the same officers in the same neighborhood.

"It was changed because the 'Same Officer, Same Neighborhood' seems to be accepted a lot better where people have one officer they work with," said Dean.

When a broken down car is tagged by police the owner has ten days to get the vehicle fixed, towed or place a fitted cover over it.

As for Melissa, she doesn't care what the program is called so long as the codes are enforced and the junk is out of sight.

If you see blight or a junk car in your neighborhood you can report it to police.

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