Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could see in advance trouble coming your way?
Memphis realtors and apartment managers don't have to be clairvoyant in recognizing which one of their prospective renters could be shopping for his next drug haven.
All they need is to head over the Internet.
Shelby County District Attorney Drug Dealer Eviction Program: http://www.scdag.com/preventingcrime/eviction
Sometimes it's really hard to knock some sense into people. Take for instance, drug-dealing house and apartment renters, who over the last 16 years, have consistently failed to heed the warnings of the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.
Consider it this way, "if you want to stay high, we'll be sure you say goodbye" to where you're living.
"We don't want you in Shelby County if your way of making a living is by selling drugs," said Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.
Since its inception in 1997, the district attorney's drug eviction program has been responsible for more than 3,000 alleged drug dealers being ousted from apartments and houses much to the betterment of the communities they'd set up shop in.
Most of the evictions were because of "word of mouth" information submitted by neighbors or realtors. But, in June 2013 another technique was added to the DA's crime-fighting toolkit in the creation of a database where those who rent or anyone else can check out a prospective tenant before any lease is even signed.
"People are utilizing the database," said Jackie Condrey, drug eviction coordinator. "The way that they utilize it is to search to see if a perspective tenant has ever been involved in a past issue. You will search an individual's name. If that name has been involved then it will pop up.
"It will show the previous address where they were involved. If they were arrested, the address will show anyone that was arrested at that property, the number of tenants that were removed from the property and the month and date," Condrey added.
Of course being armed with such knowledge doesn't mean apartment managers and realtors won't face the wrath of the rejected applicants. However, in this case the adage of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" does apply.
"You'll have some upset people," said Debra McIntosh, Ledic property manager. "You'll have people who'll probably want to move. You'll have people that'll probably want to be rebellious. But, those are the people you don't want in your community. So, the negative effect is a positive effect for the community."
"The beauty of it is that we as prosecutors can't be everywhere," DAG Weirich said. "The police, the sheriffs, they can't be everywhere. This is a wonderful tool for the community to take part in problem-solving, in helping us rid our neighborhood of drug dealers."