Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter
North Arlington was once notorious for crime but after a campaign was launched several years ago by the city to clean up the area, residents and business owners say they've seen a difference.
Businesses and residents say they've seen less crime in the stretch of state Highway 360 that runs through North Arlington after a city crackdown.
The city launched a campaign several years ago to clean up the area. A motel along Highway 360 that was notorious for drug use, prostitution and other crimes was demolished as part of the effort.
"[The city has] done some demolition with one or two of the buildings, put up signs, passed ordinances, gotten the neighborhoods involved, gotten the businesses involved, and all of those processes are working," said Pam Dawson, North Arlington Business Council chair.
Residents and businesses say they have noticed a difference.
"It cleaned the area from all these homeless, from the crimes all over," said Noor Alnazer, a manager at a North Arlington gas station.
"You don't see the characters that you used to," said Lou Gibbons, who has lived in an apartment development along Highway 360 for nearly 10 years.
"It was some place that you wouldn't want to go walking around in the evening any time after dark -- prostitution, drugs, those kinds of things," he said.
Alnazer agreed, saying prostitution, homelessness and drugs were common.
Gibbons said things are "much better," although not where he thinks they should be.
The Arlington Police Department acknowledges the vast improvements but points out that there are still occasional hot spots of crime that flare up.