The recent criminal activity reported at the Royal Dorado should have been taken care of sooner than it was. The problem is code enforcement is located at Town Hall and the police department is across the parking lot. Although many will read this and say that’s ridiculous, the lack of communication between both departments creates things that fall between the cracks. They currently operate as two totally different entities. The code enforcement division needs to be under the auspices of the police department. This way both entities can communicate and share information in a true working relationship. Daily briefings are needed to keep everybody in tune of what is going on. This starts at the top, with the chief of police being more involved and having current information at his disposal to make informed decisions. The “street cops” are well aware of the hot spots.
Code enforcement is shorthanded due to budget constraints. Simply put, they need to be beefed up. This can be done by leaning on and sharing resources from the Police Department along with the possible increase of another code enforcement officer. Money is tight but it is very difficult to put a price on public safety.
Placing the code enforcement division under the control of the police Department can only help both departments work more swiftly and effectively. There are many instances where code enforcement needs to be used more often to bring in violators of the Town Code. None are more important than the absentee landlords that are renting their houses out to numerous residents in direct violation of town code.
This is a simple, common sense solution to a substantial problem in Riverhead.
Tim Hubbard, a retired Riverhead Police detective, is a Republican candidate for Riverhead Town Board.
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