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Carol e Campbell

CANDIDATE FOR DENVER CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landlord Project
Broken Windows
Sex Offender Containment and Research Facility (SOCR)

CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN
OUR NEIGHBORHOODS

PROBLEM

The escalation of crime and violence in our neighborhoods

SOLUTIONS TO CRIME & VIOLENCE

  • Take the 2005 Athmar Park Neighborhood Association Landlord Project citywide to give landlords a tool to better manage their properties. Pass an ordinance to require background checks on all tenants on a lease.
  • Find the will to take Broken Windows policing citywide with new funding and staffing
  • Support the formation of Sex Offender Containment and Research Facility (SOCR), a community-safe residential campus for repeat sex offenders

RESULTS

If, as a community, we choose to take a stand against career criminals by adopting the Landlord Project, funding and staffing Broken Windows policing, and investing in a SOCR-model repeat sex offenders facility, we will see the face and future of our whole city change for the better:

  • Empower landlords to do the right thing and rent to law abiding citizens
  • Send a message to career criminals that Denver is a law and order community which will not tolerate the victimization of its citizens
  • Deter our young people from engaging in a life of crime as we raise the communal expectations about what it means to live in Denver
  • Improve the number of affordable rental units available to law-abiding citizens, not by increasing the density and number of buildings, but by changing the perception that some neighborhoods are unsafe and therefore, undesirable
  • Property owners with derelict properties will be more inclined or forced by economics to improve the quality of their property as their pool of possible renters change
  • As public safety increases and blight decreases affordable neighborhoods will be reclaimed by law-abiding citizens triggering further economic redevelopment
  • Children will benefit from a natural integration in neighborhood public schools as affordable neighborhoods regain diversity
  • Perhaps we can stop the cycle of sexual abuse and the self-destructive behaviors that often come in abuse's aftermath as we put more distance between our children and those who would prey on them
  • As we clean up our collective act and start living on the up and up, our police, neighborhood inspection officers, teachers, and social workers will make progress toward making Denver a great place to live for all its citizens

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LANDLORD PROJECT

BACKGROUND

In 1994, Portland, Oregon commissioned the writing of the Landlord Training Manual. The manual educates rental property owners on how to screen out potential tenants with criminal backgrounds and to use airtight leases to define who will live in a property once a landlord identifies a likely tenant. If the landlord uses the screening process and lease forms in the manual, the eviction process can be more efficient and less burdensome for the property owner should a tenant engage in criminal activity or not live up to the agreements of the lease. The manual emphasizes the landlords' responsibilities regarding proper property maintenance and graffiti removal and further educates them on how to recognize gang behavior and criminal activity. The Denver Police Department (DPD) adopted the manual and uses it in periodically-held landlord trainings.

HOW ATHMAR PARK IMPLEMENTED THE LANDLORD PROJECT

During a one-year period (2004-5), there were three drive-by shootings on my block. During the third drive-by, a callous attack during which 13 shots were fired into the back of a rental property two doors from my house, the shooters temporarily parked in my alley driveway as they yielded to an on-coming truck. We looked each other over as I worked in my garden. Seconds after they pulled out of my driveway, gunshots shattered the evening's calm. In the aftermath of the shooting, I heard about the Landlord Training Manual and, upon request, received a copy from DPD.

I immediately formed the Landlord Project committee through the Athmar Park Neighborhood Association. The goal was to identify all rental properties in our neighborhood and get a manual, free of charge, to each of those rental property owners. A committee volunteer and a bank in the neighborhood used property records to compile a list of rentals in our neighborhood. I asked neighborhood residents and city council for donations to help pay for the needed materials, printing, and postage. The committee members volunteered their time. With permission from DPD, committee volunteers updated the manual, digitalized it, burned 300 CDs, and had hard copies printed for property owners who preferred paper. I wrote a letter to rental property owners explaining what they were receiving and asking them to use the manual to better manage their properties and improve neighborhood safety. The letter was co-signed by District 4 Police Commander Sandoval and Councilwomen Rodriguez and MacKenzie whose council districts split Athmar Park. APNA returned the updated manual to DPD and made it available to Denver's neighborhoods through the APNA's and Inner Neighborhood Cooperation's web sites. If elected, I'd like to take this project citywide.

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WHAT IS BROKEN WINDOWS POLICING?

New York City reduced its crime rate by adopting Professor Kelling's pro-active Broken Windows policing theory. Basically the theory states that crime and neglected properties go hand-in-hand. Criminal activity increases in areas where it appears no one cares as evidenced by tall weeds, a broken down car parked on a dirt-lawn, a couch on a front porch, graffiti on a garage, or cardboard covering a broken window. Under Broken Windows, the police are pro-active instead of reactive. Each police district has a fulltime civilian who tracks crime patterns daily; their Commanders staff immediately responds to those patterns saturating the problem area. They work closely with Neighborhood Inspection Services and Zoning officials to improve property maintenance standard compliance while also working with citizens to find out what's going on in the neighborhood and root out problems.

In 2006, Mayor Hickenlooper wisely commissioned a study of the DPD by Professor Kelling and his Hanover Group to see if Broken Windows policing could be applied to Denver. A successful six-month pilot program was conducted in the Westwood neighborhood from the end of February through October 2006. Crime statistics show a 16.3-7% reduction in criminal activity during the pilot program. Anticipated complaints about heavy-handed policing were minimal and community support for the project was more than enthusiastic. In fact, Westwood residents were distressed to see the pilot program end. Police continue to monitor the neighborhood.

Another three- to four-month long pilot program began in the MarLee/Harvey Park neighborhoods on January 28, 2007. Police Commander Rudy Sandoval has written a template for how District 4 conducted Broken Windows policing in Westwood and this model adapted to target areas of crime in other police districts around the city. If elected, I would champion dedicating more resources and police officers to the streets so more precincts can have Broken Windows policing efforts going on simultaneously.

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SEX OFFENDER CONTAINMENT & RESEARCH FACILITY (SOCR)

I support SOCR because it is a program designed to remove repeat sex offenders from the greater community and increase public safety. Sixty-five percent of sex offenders never go to prison but live unsupervised in the community.

The SOCR facility has the potential for decreasing the number of people victimized by sexual abuse. SOCR houses repeat sex offenders in a controlled residential facility where they are closely monitored and supervised 24/7 while living a productive life. The main purpose of SOCR is to prevent adult repeat sex offenders from re-offending.

The benefits of placing sex offenders in a SOCR facility are:

  • Pay their own way - wages they earn go toward paying down the cost of their placement in the facility
  • Controlled 24/7
  • Driven to and from their place of employment
  • Free-time is spent at the facility or supervised by faculty and staff
  • Receive therapy and treatment

The American Civil Liberties Union has ruled that SOCR passes the civil liberties test. Click here for a more in-depth understanding of the SOCR facility proposal.

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Last updated March 24, 2008     Copyright 2007. All rights reserved