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Hard work now begins for vigilant residents of Little Avenue

Allanview residents met this morning to discuss Friday's drug bust and what to do moving forward
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More details have been released on the big drug bust in Barrie on Friday and it is showing to be a very significant sweep.

Eighteen people were arrested and 10 now face charges after officers say they seized fentanyl, cocaine, crack, heroin and crystal methamphetamine. 

While this is good news to many, Barrie Housing executive director Erika Erteki knows that this was only 50 per cent of what is needed to eliminate the bad apples in the Allanview complexes.

A tenant’s only meeting occurred this morning with 30 people in attendance, all ready for the long haul.

“Our meeting to inform the residents in 90 and 100 Little Avenue was a great success considering we had to do it in the early morning,” Erteki said. “We wanted the meeting to just go over the next step, which is the hardest one; going through the court system with the people who live here and were charged.

"Those people were back in their apartments on the weekend and up to some old tricks, which is annoying but we still have to follow procedure when trying to evict them; the same laws that protect the good people also protect the bad," she added. "Our tenants were informed, but aware of those charged being back and were upset but understanding.”

Some of those old tricks were scaling the balconies to get into the residence as well as jamming open the doors into the building so friends could get in. What is supposed to be a locked front door system is being tampered with, allowing those not welcome to come in.

As frustrating as it is, Erteki knows that if the foot isn’t taken off the gas, everyone can see this through and get back to living care-free.

“We have three different applications that we can use to try to get them out and we are exploring the quickest and most efficient way to do so,” she said. “We will not stop until they are out and truthfully, they will be; it’s just very much like going to a legal court system and seeing it through.”

Of the three residents charged, one has agreed to leave while two are being difficult, Erteki said.

This drawn-out process is upsetting to the area’s Ward 8 councillor, Arif Khan. Khan admits he has nothing but respect for what has been done in the last few days, but feels a lot of frustration for residents and local law enforcement.

“I have been outspoken and critical of a seemingly broken system that allows this type of behaviour to perpetuate within Canadian communities,” Khan said. “Rightly so, gone are the days where cops kicked down doors based on a hunch, however today local law enforcement faces highly unfavourable odds when it comes to this part of their mandate.

"Local police services are consistently at the mercy of a judicial system that is weak and uninspired to protect the most vulnerable in our community and hold criminals accountable," he added. "Believe it or not, when I have challenged the administrators of our not-for-profit housing association to amend its policies to enforce a zero-tolerance stance regarding illegal activities, I was told 'we can’t.'

"To me, something seems wrong, not with their attitude, but with their belief that they don’t have the law on their side, to ensure a safe and peaceful environment in which residents can raise their families.”

Court dates for the charged who were not held for bail are set for April.