WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) – A Superior Court judge has signed a consent order for a nuisance abatement action against a property with a long history “of disturbances, drug violations and numerous calls to the Whiteville Police Department,” according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
The property, which is owned by David Lamont Jones, is located at 205 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. and sits directly across the street from Central Middle School.
“This address has been a detriment to the community for years,” Whiteville Police Chief Douglas Ipock said in a news release from the N.C. Department of Public Safety. “The Whiteville Police Department, working together with Alcohol Law Enforcement’s Nuisance Abatement Team, Whiteville City Schools and the District Attorney’s Office has been able to positively impact our community and restore peace to the citizens.”
Ipock said that some incidents at the property even sent the middle school into lockdown.
“That can be traumatic to kids having to go through situations like that, so we want to take that element from them — we want them to have a safe place,” Ipock said following a Whiteville City Council meeting on Tuesday. “We want the parents, the staff and everybody to have a safe working environment in being able to come to school, you know, we go to school because we want to be safe and we want to get educated. We don’t want to go to school and be interrupted by, you know, criminal elements that could cause problems at the school.”
According to the news release, the judgment permanently prohibits Jones “from operating or maintaining a public nuisance at this location, or anywhere within the jurisdiction of the State of North Carolina. Under the terms of the consent judgment, the property may never be used for illegal purposes.”
The judgment also limits the number of people allowed and allows only registered vehicles to be on the property. If the property owner does not follow all of these conditions, officials say the property could be subject to forfeiture.
“There must be a safety zone around our schools and a nuisance like this will not be tolerated anywhere in our community,” said Columbus County District Attorney Jon David. “I applaud the homeowner for working with us in the shared interest of cleaning up the property and consenting to reasonable restrictions. Also, I would like to commend Alcohol Law Enforcement’s Nuisance Abatement Team on our enduring partnership that has led to this result.”
Ipock echoed what David said in his statement, adding that the homeowner is cooperating.
“I want to thank the owner for coming in and working with us and having an open mind working on strategies to fix the issues that we were dealing with,” Ipock said in an interview Tuesday. “By him partnering with us and through the District Attorney’s office and ALE, we’ve been able to impact the community positively and I think it’s going to continue to share results more into the future as we continue down this road.”
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