10/27/17 – The Dodge County Sheriff is championing what he is calling a more “pro-active approach” to local law enforcement. The strategy is called “Problem-Oriented Policing” and targets the root-cause of issues in order to address them on a daily basis. Dale Schmidt says it would benefit areas where crime has gone unchecked. He gives the example of apartment complexes with problem tenants and deteriorating conditions in saying the goal is to provide resources that can help clean-up the area. Schmidt says the same practices could also work in enforcing traffic offenses which include cracking down on speeders and stop sign violators. He says the goal is to create a “halo effect” which reminds potential offenders of increasing police involvement. Beaver Dam officials are currently working on a similar ordinance that would target landlords who fail to hold problem tenants accountable for criminal behavior.
Schmidt says the idea behind Problem-Oriented Policing came from Hartford where an ordinance is already in place. He told us recently on WBEV’s Community Comment that Hartford has seen improvements. He says the landlords in Hartford know that the city is serious and they will face sanctions if they do not improve problem areas. Schmidt says it is a win-win scenario because if the residence is cleaned up it will bring in good tenants which will increase property values. Schmidt says the process is slow but could be an impactful tool that works towards getting landlords in compliance. If the Beaver Dam ordinance is approved by the council, various city departments – including the police department, city attorney and building inspector – would work together to address the violations and implement penalties.