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Volunteers gather for Operation Clean Sweep to help fight crime in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - Hundreds of citizens hit the streets of Saint Louis Saturday morning in a plan to fight crime with bulldozers, chainsaws and a lot of hard work, all part of a project called Operation Clean Sweep.

As part of Operation Clean Sweep, volunteers go into neighborhoods and clean up vacant properties to help fight crime. This project is one of the largest clean-up efforts in St. Louis City history.

Utility crews have been out preparing properties to be torn down. Volunteers will demolish buildings and remove overgrown vegetation.

“It just scares me because of all the drugs. Stuff that goes on here, the shooting and people running from one block over to the next block to get away or running from police. This is a blessing to have it cleared up,” said Lisa Abbott, a resident who has lived next to a home that’s been vacant for decades.

“We think that it`s important that St. Louis take a deeper dive. That we begin to bring resources, to bring life and spirit and energy back into the most hard hit areas,” said James Clark with Better Family Life, one of the organizations behind this event.

Volunteers gathered at Northside Community School at 7 a.m. Saturday, prepared for a day of hard work.