08/21/05 — Fremont man has complaints

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Fremont man has complaints

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on August 21, 2005 2:03 AM

FREMONT -- An elderly Fremont man says he has complained about drug sales, squalling tires, loud music and burning violations, but the town's police have done nothing about the problems.

James Haire, who lives on Lee Street, told a recent town board meeting that the police were tipping off the drug dealers.

Police Chief Ben Reid denied the allegations.

"We're doing everything we can," Reid said about drugs. "...I want a drug-free town."

Reid said he would not disclose the methods that his department and other agencies were using to catch drug dealers.

Haire said he had reported incidents to the police, including the theft of a gas can, but Reid countered that he has never seen anything in writing.

Haire said the former police chief, Terry Grant, asked him not to file any more reports. Haire reportedly had voiced similar complaints at other town board meetings.

The drug problem, Haire said, was so bad that most of his neighbors had moved.

"I'm not afraid of drug dealers," he declared despite his health problems that included cancer and heart surgeries.

Haire said he saw a drug dealer parked near his home about a week ago. He got the license number and called police, but "they can't get them when you have an obstruction of justice." He added that he reported that a pickup truck was in his neighborhood five times but nothing was done.

The speaker said the town is not enforcing a burning ban. Many older people, he said, could not breathe.

Then Haire told the board, "This has been going on before any of you were here." He added that the current board "inherited some of the mess."

Haire said Fremont lost two police officers because people said they were racists and gave out too many speeding tickets.

Mayor Devone Jones, trying to calm Haire, said he would talk to him later and added that he wanted the town to grow. Haire said he would not talk to Chief Reid or Town Administrator Kerry Mc-Duffie.

McDuffie said Friday that there was evidence of one set of tire tracks in the street near Haire's home.