My next-door neighbor appears to be running a drug operation out of his home. I’m afraid of the repercussions if I call the police, but I’m scared. What should I do?
First, it’s very important that you try to back up your “gut feeling.” “My neighbor appears” is very different from “I have witnessed/heard/found this … or this …”
Observe carefully, and look for specific behaviors. Examples would be cars and pedestrians stopping at the home for brief periods; traffic that is cyclical – increasing on weekends or late at night, or periods of low activity followed by lots of vehicles for a period of a few days (most likely paydays); visitors who appear to be acquaintances rather than friends; visitors who may sit in the car for a while after leaving the residence or may leave one person in the car while the other visits; and visitors who park around a corner or a few blocks away and approach on foot.
Next, share the odd behaviors you have observed with local law enforcement. Understandably, people are afraid that if they act, drug dealers will take revenge. This is a legitimate concern, and one that you should share with your local police. Remember to pray for strength: “… man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2516)
Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.