There is no doubt mortgage foreclosures have destroyed neighborhoods across America. So do the police have a role in helping improve things? Is that really their role?
Says one police leader:
"Mortgage foreclosures continue to take their toll on neighborhoods across America. A recent USA Today article indicates that mortgage foreclosure filings jumped by 46% in March 2009 over 2008 as temporary moratoriums lapsed. It is clear that police will continue to face the impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods for some time to come."
By anyone's definition of what makes a good Police Chief, Darryl Stephens is that person. Chief of agencies in St. Petersberg, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina, he has led innovative ideas in law enforcement for a generation.
The Community Safety Initiative folks at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation just recently published Chief Stephens thoughts regarding the foreclosure crisis and what police can do about it. It reinforces points made by Brent Teasdale and Lynn Clark in an earlier blog (soon to appear in the March issue of CPTED Perspective).
The question is what to do about a problem that police have traditionally had nothing to do with. Some ideas in his article include
* Homebuyer education,
* Foreclosure counseling,
* Neighborhood Stabilization funds,
* Reduce high crime in troubled neighborhoods to create safe conditions for contractors to rehab homes for resale,
* Getting contractors to do maintenance on homes that would otherwise be boarded up and abandoned (and thereby vulnerable for use by drug dealers).
Check it out.
Stephens Foreclosures LISC Article