Identifying problem properties and people and removing both from the community can bring down the crime rate, and that's the role of Community Prosecution Units.
Community Prosecution Units deal with urban blight and quality of life issues. Partners in the program include police, city attorneys, county attorneys, city health and public works departments, community-based organizations, and citizens. The community prosecutors have offices within district police stations around town.
Nuisance properties can create a lot of problems for a community. These problems include gang activity, gun and drug activity, noise, overgrown weeds and excess trash, which are among the main issues the community prosecutors face. They act as liaisons with landlords and with the police department regarding repeated nuisance calls, and try to give owners the opportunity to correct the problems before prosecution. Criminal charges or civil actions can be brought against problem tenants or owners for nuisance activity and criminal behavior.
Responsibilities of the Community Prosecution Unit
Homes and buildings that are the repeated sources of complaints and police calls involving drug dealing, prostitution, gambling, trash, dangerous dogs and code violations. Encourage landlords to enroll in the free city Landlord Training Program.
The Community Prosecutor is available to work with schools, churches and community groups to help residents get involved, to discuss crime prevention techniques and how to effectively report criminal behavior to the police.
To report a nuisance property, contact the Community Prosecution Unit nearest the problem area or property you are complaining about. You can also call the police department at their non-emergency number, 933-4444.