• Posted On: March 24, 2015

In many neighborhoods, crime and code violations go hand-in-hand. Where abandoned properties begin to crop up, there are problems with the property becoming neglected, and before long that property begins to attract criminal activity.

As a result, most communities like yours consider blight and crime to be two major issues that work against a safe neighborhood. As highlighted in a report developed by the MetLife Foundation, the partnership between law enforcement and code enforcement is often successful in efficiently and effectively preventing the combination of neglected property and criminal activity.

An important central component to this partnership is the use of the right code enforcement software. Current systems available to municipalities allows local government to share information across agencies and be more streamlined in their processes.

Here are a few aspects from the report that are important to consider when introducing a partnership between law enforcement and code enforcement:

A formal program is better than informal teamwork. The report showed that the most effective partnerships between agencies were based on shared goals, with agreed-upon measures of success, buy-in from both sides and a formal plan for handling cases. If a formal program is not in place, law enforcement and code enforcement can quickly have competing agendas, ruining their chances for optimizing effectiveness.

Shared visits to a location often yield the best results. A housing inspector can often get inside a property more easily than a law enforcement officer can. Obtaining information in a joint call often helps each part of the team gain insight into reporting problems with the property.

The right technology is critical. With up-to-date code enforcement software, joint efforts between law enforcement and code enforcement ensure a positive return on investment. Police records can help code enforcement track down landlords that neglect properties and a log of residents’ complaints to a code enforcement agency can help law enforcement track down a drug problem.

There are secondary benefits to the partnership. When crime diminishes and neighborhoods are free of blight, residents start to increasingly interact with law enforcement and code inspectors. Particularly in situations where agencies are able to respond quickly to citizens’ concerns, the level of trust between agency officials and the community residents begins to grow.

As the report notes, there are as many ways to organize such a partnership as there are communities. Each municipality or city should examine its own agency strengths and determine the goals that are necessary within the partnership. There is no one way to form a partnership, but those with clear goals and ways to measure success will have the most effectiveness in the community.

If you are interested in the possibility of forming a partnership between law enforcement and code enforcement personnel, consider talking with Comcate about your code enforcement software. We can help you determine where you can achieve the most success and establish the most effective partnership.

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