MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19)- Middletown Police are taking a new approach to cracking down on the drug problem that they say is rampant in some areas, as part of a drug market intervention program to give non-violent drug dealers a second chance to turn their lives around.
Police conducted an undercover investigation and arrested nine individuals for selling drugs, but four of those men will be given a second chance if they commit to stop selling drugs -- area residents say the proactive policing in necessary.
"It needs to be cleaned up," said Walter Turner, a Middletown native.
Middletown residents say the drug problem in their neighborhood on 8th Ave. is getting worse by the day.
"I think its gotten a little worse, you see more news about it and everything," Turner said.
Police say it's a problem that has picked up and just won't stop.
"On 8th Avenue it's constant, there are always drug dealers out there, we'll arrest somebody and someone else will pop up," said Lt. Walter Reeve of the Middletown Police Department.
But, Middletown Police are trying something new, giving dealers a chance to change and break the cycle.
"You cooperated, you get your GED, you go to some job training, you take this help we're offering you or we're going to go ahead and charge you," Reeve said.
It's a community effort that both residents and police hope will curb the crime.
"That's what it takes, that's what they're for," Turner said.
"Hopefully we're going to be able to eradicate the people that are standing out their selling all the time, and keep someone from taking the other drug dealer's place," Reeve said.