Code enforcement now under umbrella of Los Banos police

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMarch 7, 2014 

From unsightly broken-down cars on private property to garage sale signs left for months on street poles, residents now have better odds at having complaints about municipal code violations addressed.

The city’s Code Enforcement Division was placed under the supervision of the Police Department effective Saturday. Police Chief Gary Brizzee said now more people can issue citations for municipal code violations.

“The (City) Council wanted to put more resources on it, and we had the staffing,” Brizzee said.

Code enforcement staff now consists of Code Enforcement officer Tammy Allard, Animal Control officer Jason Martin, Code Enforcement clerk Dana Rawls and supervising Sgt. Jesse Ceja. Brizzee said Martin will help when needed, but his primary responsibility will remain animal control.

Previously, Allard handled the bulk of enforcement complaints by herself, occasionally receiving help from Los Banos Fire Department staff.

Brizzee complimented fire personnel for the nearly 10 years their department oversaw the Code Enforcement Division.

“The fire guys did a good job, our goal is to build on that,” Brizzee said.

The new staffing has caused some office shuffling at the Police Department, which is housed on Fifth Street at a station built in 1960. Brizzee said the code enforcement personnel has been placed at the Police Annex building on J Street, which required moving some detectives at the facility to other areas in the building.

Brizzee said code enforcement is a good fit for his department.

“We handled the public area, where the grass meets the sidewalk. The Fire Department handled the private property,” He said. “We would handle the calls for the basketball hoops in the street and they would get the calls about cars on someone’s lawn on four (cinder) blocks.”

Brizzee said residents who need to report municipal code violations can call (209) 827-7070, ext. 141.

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