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Code enforcement to be handled by police dept.

Peachtree City’s code enforcement department has a new location, inside the city’s police headquarters off Ga. Highway 74 south.

The move coincides with an organizational change that puts code enforcement under the umbrella of the police department.

Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark said police officers will not be writing citations for code violations, but he anticipates advantages of the two departments working together.

Clark said he expects police officers will learn more about code enforcement violations so they can communicate potential problems to code enforcement. Likewise, he expects the city’s two code enforcement officers will be able to communicate potential crimes or other issues that police officers need to be made aware of.

There will be a bit of a learning curve on both sides before the city will gain those full advantages, but they will be helpful, Clark said.

Another advantage of having code enforcement involved in the police department is the ability to focus on blighted properties before they lead to potential crimes, as there is a connection between the two which police often call the “broken window” theory.

Clark said one of his goals for code enforcement is to acknowledge complaints and explain the outcome to the complainant even if the situation can’t be addressed as a code violation. In some cases, such complaints must be handled instead as civil matters and in some cases they must be handled by homeowners associations as covenant issues, Clark noted.

The city has two code enforcement officers but one is currently out on leave, so it’s tough to get everything done currently, Clark said.

Still, the goal is to handle complaints in a timely manner and the get moving toward being more proactive about code enforcement issues, Clark said.

Citizens will continue to be able to report potential code violations online by visiting www.peachtree-city.org, rolling over “online services” in the left menu and then clicking “report a problem” then on the next page click “report a code enforcement issue” or call the complaint line at 770-631-2588, extension 220.

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