Metro-East News

Cops post ‘drug house closed for business’ sign in yard of Illinois house after probe

Cops in Illinois want to highlight efforts to clean up neighborhoods by posting signs at the homes of suspected drug dealers.

Alton, Illinois police put a yard sign in front of a home last week that says “This drug house closed for business” in all capital letters, according to a Facebook post. The sign was posted after the police department and a regional SWAT team executed a search warrant of the property, police said.

“Charges are imminent, but sales at this house are now CLOSED for business!” police wrote on Facebook. “We left a public notice for the neighborhood.”

However, police said not all of the residents were charged, and cops took down the sign when they re-entered the house, according to The Telegraph.

“It’s certainly not a means to demean or embarrass anyone,” Alton Police Lt. Jarrett Ford told the Alton newspaper. “It’s more to let the neighbors know, ‘Hey, we hear you and we addressed the problem.’”

The city’s website includes a page that allows residents to leave a detailed report of suspected drug activity in their neighborhood. It includes questions about when the drugs are sold, which door is used, the type of security used and number of visitors in a three-hour period.

Alton isn’t the first police department to post the signs.

In Florida, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office posted a similar sign after investigating a homeowner accused of selling cocaine from her house, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Police in North Port, Florida borrowed the idea and posted a sign in the front yard of a suspected drug house after an investigation, WPTV reported.

Similar to police in Alton, North Port cops took down the signs after a few hours because not everyone inside the home was arrested, WINK reported.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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