September 26, 2016 - The Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) is taking proactive steps to address chronic problem properties (CPP) in the City of Fort Wayne.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, an ordinance is scheduled to be introduced that would help public safety personnel reduce repeat nuisance calls for service at problem properties. Discussion and passage of the ordinance is expected to occur in October. The effort is designed to enhance public safety efforts to keep the community as safe as possible.
The ordinance contains residential and commercial categories. If there are five or more valid complaints or citations in a 60-day period for residential properties, the property will be designated a CPP. If there are 12 or more valid complaints or citations in a 90-day period for commercial properties, the property will be designated a CPP. Warnings will be issued to property owners when they are close to reaching the threshold.
Once designated a CPP, the property will be listed as such for 365 days unless credited for compliance with proactive measures taken through a remediation agreement. The remediation agreement is a collaborative effort between property owners and the City to implement proactive strategies toward reducing nuisance calls while holding property owners accountable.
If the owner fails or refuses to abide by the remediation agreement, a notice of non-compliance will be made to the owner and penalties will be imposed for every subsequent complaint or citation. Penalties imposed include: $250 per citation/complaint; $500 for properties designated a CPP twice in a 12-month period; and, $750 for properties designated a CPP more than twice in a 24-month period.
A member of the Fort Wayne Police Department will be designated as the enforcing officer and point of contact throughout the entire process. The officer will work closely with the City Attorney’s office, City of Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code Department, Fort Wayne Fire Department, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and the City Council member whose district is affected by the designated CPP.
“We want Fort Wayne to be safe and inviting for residents and visitors,” said Police Chief Steve Reed. “Unfortunately, our officers have to spend too much time responding to nuisance calls. It’s vital that our resources be focused on meeting the needs of residents, neighborhoods, and businesses to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.”
In the first six months of 2016, four properties alone have accounted for 734 calls for service.
The proposed ordinance isn’t designed to be punitive. The purpose is to encourage property owners to partner with the City to stop negative behavior originating from their properties.