NORWICH – Residents from Guernsey Street and Henry Street in Norwich came together at the City of Norwich Common Council meeting telling members they are looking for answers to an ongoing drug problem in their neighborhood.
Seven residents each gave testimony to late night visitors, fighting, and drug paraphernalia at a residence along Guernsey Street and another along Henry Street.
David Connor, a Henry Street resident, began the discussion during the public forum by putting it simply, "We've had a very bad drug issue."
"Every night at two in the morning, four in the morning, six in the morning people come and go in the cars, carrying back packs. I've seen them doing stuff in my shared drive way, boiling stuff in pots. It's like Groundhogs Day, you wake up and it's the same thing every day."
"I used to sit on my porch without any fear, then I was threatened by the person on Henry Street and had to get an order of protection," continued Connor. “I’ve found syringes in my yard, I've found syringes in the streets, and I've found syringes in front of the county office building. This is getting out of control. I'd like to live there the rest of my life, but it's getting to the point where I am saying heck with it, I'm getting out of Norwich."
Norwich Police Chief Rodney Marsh acknowledge the ongoing issue and said one of the challenge in dealing with is was the new bail reform laws. He said, the residents causing the issues, are arrested and then back at home the following day, causing tensions to run high for their neighbors.
"They have no consequences for breaking the law, they go to jail and their back out within two hours. I'm tired of hearing what we can't do, I want to hear what we can do as a community to make this right," said Connor.
Another resident on Henry Street, Jeff Squires, found an uncapped needle in his front yard, and fears what could have happened if one of his grandchildren had stepped on it while playing.
"For about six months now we haven't been able to use our front yard or back yard. It's a constant, all day all night long, up and down the shared driveway. Not exaggerating 30 to 40 people during the night time visiting this house coming and going," said Squires. "I have eight grandchildren. They're not allowed to come to my house now because of what we've seen going on around that house."