The presence of drugs in the area has Glenwood residents uniting against a common enemy to keep the community safe.
Glenwood is the mile long stretch between Eugene and Springfield. In January, six police officers showed up at a priority level 5 narcotics possession, all other information was withheld.
“There is so much heroin down here, it’s unreal. Heroine, crystal meth, marijuana,” said Tony Adams, a Glenwood resident.
Many of the residents volunteer to take shifts driving around the neighborhoods to check out suspicious behavior and everyone looks out for themselves and their neighbors.
“We take care of our own,” said Brad Woodruff, a long-term Glenwood resident. “If we hear about drug dealers, we keep going by them and tell them to burn rubber. We don’t allow that here.”
Woodruff said a friend of his was a self-proclaimed “mayor” and used to patrol the streets late at night until he recently passed away. Members of the Glenwood Christian Church also drive around protecting the area.
“The older congregation, I call them the greys, they feel it’d be in their best interest to drive down there and check it all,” Woodruff said. “They’re doing it out of the kindness of their hearts cause they’ve been here so long.”
Even with the residents’ activism, many still see all the drugs in the community as a problem.
People who live or work in Glenwood worry that the police are not doing the best job they can to deal with these problems.
“I would rather see the cops out there doing a real job then harassing a homeless person or dealing with someone who’s mentally ill,” said Norm Chambers, vice president of the consumer council in Glenwood.
The city of Springfield is also trying to improve Glenwood. The community is being renovated, the plan is known as the Glenwood Refinement Plan.
“Hopefully it’ll bring more business to Glenwood, in a positive light rather than a negative light,” said Chambers.
The Springfield website explains, “The GRP [Glenwood Refinement Plan] guides the provision of public services; serves as a basis for evaluation private development proposals; and provides a common framework for those engaged in the conversation, development, and redevelopment of Glenwood.”
The goal is to advance the area of Glenwood by building new infrastructure, developing the land and improve residents’ morals throughout Glenwood.
Still, many of the residents don’t know exactly what the project is. There are rumors that it includes everything from plowing the entire town and turning it into a park and apartment complexes to simply bringing in more businesses to improve the area.
“Springfield and Glenwood aren’t gong to support that stuff,” Adams said. “There’s no money here.”
For the moment, Glenwood residents will continue to congregate at Woodruff’s house or participate in local events, such as the beer and Easter egg hunt, where residents search for hidden beers rather than Easter eggs, and taking it upon themselves to keep the community safe.