When “Patty” moved near a drug-sales corner in Jersey City this year, her husband’s prized car was quickly stolen from in front of their house, says the Jersey Journal in a series on local crime. “I am now moving out next week. I can’t stay here and have my children be exposed to the crackheads and drugs around here,” she said. “It’s just not right.” Reports of a high volume of reported drug activity at three intersections were not a surprise to residents interviewed nor to many members of the local law enforcement community.
How do dealers thrive? “These are historical places where people know they can get drugs, and that makes it lucrative enough for dealers to roll the dice and risk getting caught,” said Police Inspector Kenneth Teschlog. “When we focus on an area, we clear it out, and the dealers move down the block. It just disperses the activity. Short of being there 24 hours a day, I am not sure we can stop it.” The state needs stiffer penalties for drug dealers, specifically for juveniles, who often become repeat offenders due to “soft” punishment, Teschlog said. “The money these dealers can make outweighs the punishment, and we are working hard with the FBI to try to get as many of these federal crimes, which carry much higher penalties.”