Code Enforcement Becomes Part of Police Department
Tuesday, May 02, 2017 10 a.m.
CODE ENFORCEMENT BECOMES PART OF POLICE DEPARTMENT
The City of Cocoa’s Code Enforcement Office is now part of the Cocoa Police Department. Its personnel are civilian employees of the department and will have full access to all of the investigative, information and personnel resources of the agency. The move is part of an ongoing effort to improve the overall compliance with city codes, thereby improving the overall quality of life within the city. “Dilapidated and vacant structures and nuisance properties, can become havens for criminal activity and accelerate the cycle of disinvestment and decline,” said City Manager John Titkanich. “Code Enforcement operating out of the Police Department will enhance the City’s efforts to address and prevent the spread of blight and curtail criminal activity. Collaboration and greater coordination between law enforcement and code enforcement staff will expand our abilities to make our neighborhoods safer.”
The Code Enforcement Division of the police department consists of a manager, coordinator and two code enforcement officers. The goal is to have them work with the full resources of the police department to ensure code compliance. “This will help us tremendously,” said Code Enforcement Manager Dennis Bunt. “We now have access to investigative tools and are in constant communication with law enforcement. When we work together like that everything changes.”
Beginning May 7th, Code Enforcement officers will begin a special enforcement operation dubbed “Spring Cleaning”. Code Officers will target areas throughout the city tagging all vehicles in violation of City Code 6-902 for discarding junk, inoperable or abandoned motor vehicles. Affected residents will have 72-hours to remove these vehicles. Non-compliance will mean the vehicles will be towed. Code officers will also be looking at all vacant property for violations of overgrowth and accumulation of debris. “These issues are important and significantly impact quality of life in any community,” Bunt added. “Our goal is always voluntary compliance but we will be firm and fair.”
Over the course of the next few weeks the four-person team that makes up the Code Enforcement Division will move into second floor office space at the police department headquarters building, 1226 W. King St. During the transition period there will be an emphasis on public information and education about City Codes and penalties for violations. “I’m looking forward to having our Code Enforcement operating within the police department,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “The relationship between code related issues contributing to blight in areas of our city and law enforcement’s ability to solve problems and reduce crime go hand in hand. It makes sense to have this as part of our law enforcement and public safety function and we are looking forward to making a positive impact.”
(Left to right) Code Enforcement Manager Dennis Bunt, Code Enforcement Officer Michael Mack, Code Enforcement Officer Steve Murdick, Code Enforcement Coordinator Rachel Unrue