Senior citizen centers are supposed to be about socializing with one another, renting apartments, and sharing good times. However, lately, the situation at an elderly housing complex in Long Island hasn’t been the same because some drug dealers tried to move in, according to a CBS2 news report on May 24, 2021.
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Retirees at Rosa Parks Senior Center have been anxious as the retirement complex has been in the crosshairs of criminal drug activity, with suspect buyers coming in from Centennial Park across the street. Regarding the situation, resident Ann Belle Richards said, “It makes me nervous, but I stay upstairs. I’m 87 years old.” Richards and other elderly residents of the senior center say that many times, financial, physical, and mental struggles make them feel isolated, and they feel too intimidated by the drug dealers to speak up and ask for help.
Nassau County police and Hempstead town leaders received anonymous calls about the drug dealing. Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said, “My residents have complained so much about the fact there are people coming into their complex where they live selling drugs.” After a two-month investigation and with a search warrant, Nassau police say they solved the case. They arrested seven accused dealers, most of whom are in their 40s and 50s and have prior arrests. They were accused of selling drugs out of a 62-year-old man’s apartment.
About the situation, County Executive Laura Curran said, “Seniors live here. We need to do everything we can to make sure that they are safe, and that they can feel confident going about their day.” The residents of the retirement complex thanked the police for the takedown. Police have already got a headstart on their next mission—cleaning up the parks across the street.