Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, August 06, 2010

Mayor Williams explains the KOPS task force

We want to thank Mayor Tom Williams for sending us the following blog about the City's efforts to eliminate blighted, crime-infested properties:

In April 2009, the City of Norwood began a pilot program called KOPS (Keep Our Property Safe). This program was developed as a cooperative effort between the Norwood Building and Police Department personnel, which jointly performed a once a month field trip to properties in the community that are candidates for blight, along with properties that have had an abnormally high number of police incidents and possible crime activities.

Studies have shown that when blighted properties are left unchecked, neighborhoods deteriorate at an alarming pace, property values drop and the crime rate rises.

Beginning August 2010 the KOPS joint task force has expanded to three times a month and now includes the support of the Health Department and Fire Department in efforts toward an overall City approach in eliminating blight.

The physical presence of the Norwood Police Officers, Building and Housing Inspectors, Fire Department and Health Department personnel walking the neighborhoods creates awareness of the condition of the housing stock and helps promote pride in the neighborhood and pride throughout the community.

The first field trip with all departments was August 4th. Building Commissioner Gerry Stoker, Health Commissioner Pam Bauer and Assistant Law Director Chris Brown accompanied the inspecting personnel to three separate locations.

This increase of field inspections will continue as long as it takes and we will take whatever action is necessary, operating within the legal guidelines, to send the message that this City will not tolerate the run down property or the crime that it brings.

The properties inspected are selected by past violations and police runs. We, of course, are open to nominations for this program. If you have a location in mind that you would like to receive a visit from the KOPS program, please contact the Building Department at 458-4510, and we will do our best to stop by and pay them a visit.

Thomas F. Williams, Mayor
City of Norwood