Authorities have arrested three people following allegations of prostitution and drug use at a senior citizen housing complex in northern New Jersey.
Authorities have charged 75-year-old James Parham and 66-year-old Cheryl Chaney with possessing drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug nuisance at the Vincente Tibbs Senior Citizen Building in Englewood.
Detective Capt. Timothy Torell tells The Record newspaper that Parham also admitted providing prostitutes to some of his younger neighbors.
Police also charged 54-year-old Selma McDuffie, who has been suspended as a school crossing guard, with having a crack pipe.
Chief Arthur O'Keefe tells the newspaper residents were essentially prisoners in their own building. Residents complained to police about the strangers in the building and the police set up a sting operation.
Those who live in the building say they are grateful for the round-the-clock police protection.
“Things are getting better,” said James Harrison, an 11-year resident, told The Record. “Druggies and drunks, that’s what used to be here, all day long, day and night.”
Iwano, who became the housing authority’s executive director last year, said Tibbs had a security guard years ago before federal funding cuts forced the agency to eliminate the position. Housing authorities in other large cities, such as Newark, have their own security forces, while Hackensack and Paterson pay for police protection at their housing units. Smaller housing authorities, such as those in Fort Lee and Edgewater, do not have private guards.
The Englewood Housing Authority manages the 152-unit property, which serves the disabled and low-income residents who are 62 years and older.