Problematic Behavior or Activity
There is an ongoing issue with college parties causing disturbances in neighborhoods where college students and permanent residents cohabit. The parties lead to loud music, yelling and screaming, littering, fights, vandalism and other nuisance crimes.
Citing the offending parties provides a temporary solution and does not create permanent changes in behavior. Additionally, warning offending parties was not tracked with any standardization, which led to multiple warnings being issued to chronic offenders. A mechanism was needed to go beyond normal enforcement and to create a way to more effectively keep track of repeated responses.
The quality of life in the neighborhoods surrounding campus was declining. Residents were becoming more vocal and outspoken about issues. The residents began to involve the Corvallis City Council and demand additional actions be taken to mitigate the problems.
The addition of the Chronic Nuisance Property (CNP) program. At its basic level, the CNP program was a standardized way to track warnings and repeated responses to problem residences. Officers would label the residence as a CNP when clearing the call on the radio or on the MDT. The dispatcher would then add an additional “nature code” to the call which made the call searchable in the CAD system. In addition to the label the officer would give brief comments about the activity occurring which led to the house being a problem. These comments were added to the free text field of the CAD so they could be reviewed at a later date.
A single CNP label does not affect the house. Subsequent responses and labeling by officers in a set time frame does. When a residence receives a set number of CNP’s in a determined time period, a letter is generated and sent to the property owner. The letter requests actions be taken by the property owner (or responsible property management company) to mitigate the issues with the offending parties. If the problems persist, the residence owner could be fined.
The cost is negligible. The only cost being the extra time by employees to document the incidents and to generate the letters.
Offenders were faced with two sets of consequences for the first time. Not only could they be criminally cited, but they also received pressure from their landlords to stop the behavior. Many landlords have just gone directly to a zero-tolerance policy. They have included the CNP program in the rental agreements, stating violations of the program will lead to eviction. We have seen a drastic decline in repeat offenders after the implementation and adjustments of the time period.
Critical Success Factors
The two-pronged enforcement approach and getting buy in from property owners and managers.
Get the property owners and managers on board from the start and provide them with a way of getting the information about CNP houses in a timely manner.