100 abandoned homes torn down in Jackson

100 abandoned homes torn down in Jackson
Published: Sep. 17, 2015 at 11:03 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2015 at 6:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Jackson Police showing proof of action. One hundred homes have now been demolished in the city.

Jackson resident: "Oh, lordy. The man came to me first before I saw a bulldozer. The man said they were tearing it down. I said thank you Jesus."

For years an abandoned home sat on property on Queen Mary Lane. One neighbor has lived next door to the eyesore for more than 30 years. She described how the property looked before it was knocked down.

Jackson resident: "Lord have mercy. I don't know what kind of shape it was in because I was too scared to go in there. You really couldn't tell a house was in there because of the trees and all the grass and weeds. It had just overtaken it."

Since August 2015 the Community Improvement Unit has been operating under the police department. Chief Lee Vance said the unit has demolished 100 houses within a fiscal year. He said this goal is also helping in the fight against crime.

Chief Lee Vance said, "Abandoned properties are a breading ground for crime. Unfortunately drug addictive people use them. During the winter time we see people that are homeless that go in the abandoned homes to seek shelter and eventually they start fires. We've got more work to do, but it's a start and we believe it is a way to combat crime."

Using inmate labor to assist, CIU has addressed State and City properties without a cost to the city. To date more than 360 thousand dollars has been saved.

Jackson resident added, "Baby, everybody who comes down here loves it. They think I'm living in Heaven now."

Chief Vance said the CIU unit will continue knocking down properties to help make the city a cleaner and safer place. If you have an abandoned property you want to report you can call 311.

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