LAS VEGAS -- When police officers call a neighborhood "a hot mess," you know it's bad.
But instead of writing it off, Metro Police officer are trying something new for the neighborhood they call "John One."
Homes and apartments along Boulder Highway near Desert Inn Road is gripped with poverty.
Squatters break into vacant homes -- busting into their own apartments after getting evicted --- and even stealing home security cameras.
It's a neighborhood where apartment managers -- in some cases -- just stopped caring to fix hazardous living conditions.
Despite all this, some residents said their streets are beginning to become safer.
Officer Andrew Hefner knows these streets.
Born in Las Vegas, Hefner has seen the neighborhood near the Boulder Strip show the scars of recession long before the rest of the Las Vegas valley.