Police Make Sweep of Property Violations in Topeka Neighborhood

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TOPEKA, Kan. - The Topeka Police Department announced Operation Boomerang took place October 6-7, 2008 in the Hi-Crest neighborhood in southeast Topeka.

The neighborhood was chosen as a pilot for this program because a high concentration of properties exist whose structure and/or surrounding property violates the property maintenance codes of the City of Topeka.

Research has shown that dilapidated properties and properties of blight can have a direct correlation on the impact of crime that occurs at and around those locations. Through focused enforcement in this area, the Topeka Police Department plans to reduce the level of crime in the neighborhood.

"There is a direct correlation between an unkept neighborhood and crime," said Lt. Russ Klumpp, Topeka Police Department.

The objective of Operation Boomerang is to identify property code violations and abate those violations through cooperation with local residents/owners through the established process including adjudication through Municipal Court.

Community Police Officers and Code Enforcement Officers from the Topeka Police Department worked together in five teams consisting of a police officer and code enforcement officer.

Violations will be explained to the responsible party with a deadline of October 22-23 to correct the violation or to have shown significant progress for complex problems.

If no contact was made with residents, a door hanger was left to serve as notification of the violations.

Officials encourage residents in any neighborhood to report code violations. "We have a handful of inspectors for the entire city so the more folks we have out there helping to identify these issues, the faster and more efficiently we can get these issues resolved," said Lt. Klumpp.