From The Intelligencer of Wheeling, W.Va.:
Most of us have heard the terms “crack house” and “house of ill repute.” The former refers to buildings where illegal drug activity is frequent. The latter involves places where prostitution occurs.
Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger is asking city council for a “drug house ordinance” to deter use of buildings for such purposes. If enacted, it would allow police to seek “abatement orders” from municipal court. Continued use of buildings for illegal activities after 30 days could result in property owners being fined.
Other enforcement action could include eviction notices, orders to clean up a property or even requirements to hire night security personnel.
Similar ordinances exist in other West Virginia cities, including Clarksburg, Fairmont and Martinsburg. Schwertfeger told council members Martinsburg’s police chief reported the measure has reduced repeat calls to troublesome addresses by 90 percent. …