by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - The Amarillo Police Department has designated 6th Street a "hot spot" between Georgia and Western. This means an increased police presence in the area because of numerous complaints.
Sixth Street has had a difficult relationship with the San Jacinto neighborhood for years. Over the past three weeks APD says they've had 186 contacts, including citations and warnings. They've had 18 arrests.
Business owners in the area say they're happy about the increased police presence. Chip Hunt runs two antique stores on 6th street. In the past year and a half she's had break-ins and burglaries. She says, "Somebody tried to break in to it and it was 11 o'clock in the evening. It wasn't even late. We do have a ton of criminal elements in this neighborhood that have nothing better to do than just harass us."
The "hot spot" designation means APD will have an extra officer devoted to the area between 7pm and midnight. Corporal Jerry Neufeld of the Amarillo Police Department says, "Keeping him in that area, in the neighborhood along the street, just trying to get a little more compliance basically, with the loud noise, with the public intoxication and the traffic violations that we have seen. We're trying to get a better handle on it, get it a little safer for people to go down through there."
Although this area is strictly enforced for noise, there are numerous violations. Hunt says sometimes cars will blast music, "We'll have a car go by and it will vibrate something right off the shelf and it breaks some dealer's merchandise."
Because of increased arrests for public intoxication, weapons and narcotics, APD says the extra attention will continue indefinitely.