Problem Solvers


He patrols Church Hill rooting out drug dealers and prostitutes

Posted at 3:55 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 18:43:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some days it can feel like a game to Richmond Police officer Onsel Alexander.

"They see me leaving the area, they come back. I'll circle around and park my car and walk along the other side," Officers Alexander said.

As part of his beat, Alexander patrols T Street in Church Hill.

It is an area known to police for drug use and prostitution.  So far this year, police have made more than 20 arrests in the T Street area related to drugs or prostitution.

"It's like everybody knows you come over to T Street," Alexander said.

In addition to walking the streets, Officer Alexander often patrols vacant lots in an attempt to root out illegal activity.

Activity like prostitution.

A concerned neighbor recently  sent the CBS 6 Problem Solvers photos of multiple couples having sex on the back porch of an empty 21st Street home.

21st and T streets in Richmond

Officer Alexander said says he's arrested people there before for that kind of behavior.

But, he added, one of his biggest challenges was the people he arrested show right back up a few days later.

"The lady I had this morning. I gave her a trespassing charge," he said. "It's the eighth, tenth, eleventh time, maybe more."

Despite that frustration -- Officer Alexander said he loved his beat.  From his experience, most of the people causing trouble in the area do not live there.

If he could change one thing, Alexander said it would be he wished more people would call police when they saw problems.

"A lot of people don't call the police, like you said, I don't know why," he said. "It's your neighborhood.  We can't do it without you. It's a partnership."

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