East Ridge abandoned buildings "make it easy for illegal activity"
Assistant Chief of Police Stan Allen says these buildings make it easy for illegal activity.
East Ridge City Council members are working to revise a proposed redevelopment plan that could improve the city.
After Thursday night’s public hearing about the development. council members decided to focus on renovating businesses instead of neighborhoods.
Assistant police chief Stan Allen says, "It's not the buildings that are causing the problem, it's people."
Along Ringgold Road it's not hard to find empty buildings up for lease. Allen says these buildings make it easy for illegal activity.
“If there's not any activity or a business going, empty buildings provide a place for people to hide or do whatever they want to do,” Allen said.
He said if anyone is caught in an abandoned building it is trespassing. He says his officers get calls about these properties.
“There's drug activity, and a lot of it is what you might call squatting. There are people that living there because the building has been abandoned,” said Allen.
Council members say these buildings are eyesores, but if they are repaired and filled with tenants, they could boost the economy.
It's still unclear what businesses could come to East Ridge, but Allen believes redevelopment could cut crime.
“If a building is occupied it's going to cut down on people that are going in those buildings for whatever illegal activity,” said Allen.
East Ridge will host a special called meeting about the redevelopment on Monday at 11:00 a.m.