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Proactive Environmental Crime Enforcement in the Central East Area Command. Final Project for the APD Leadership Academy. What is Environmental Crime?. Texas Transportation Code Title 7 Vehicles and Traffic Texas Health and Safety Code Title 5 Sanitation & Environmental Quality.

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Proactive environmental crime enforcement in the central east area command
Proactive Environmental CrimeEnforcement in the Central EastArea Command

Final Project for the APD Leadership Academy


What is environmental crime
What is Environmental Crime?

  • Texas Transportation Code

    • Title 7 Vehicles and Traffic

  • Texas Health and Safety Code

    • Title 5 Sanitation & Environmental

    • Quality

    • City of Austin Ordinances








    Investigative responsibility
    Investigative Responsibility

    • Solid Waste Services

    • Watershed Protection

    • Neighborhood Planning and Zoning

    • Health and Human Services

    • TNRCC


    Sources of ineffectiveness
    Sources of Ineffectiveness

    • Lack of coordination & communication

    • Conflicting policies, procedures, priorities

    • Cumbersome, lengthy legal processes

    • Limited staff, large areas of responsibility

    • Totally reactive


    How can apd fill in the gaps
    How can APD fill in the gaps?

    • Accustomed to responding quickly to problems

    • and possess resources to do so.

    • As most visible and active representatives of

    • City, often we are the first to learn of problems.

    • Area Command system is designed to address

    • specific problems in specific areas.


    Why should we take on this job
    Why should we take on this job?

    • 1. Environmental issues, the so-call “quality of life” issues, are a major

    • source of complaints to the Police; many District Representatives

    • already spend the majority of their time dealing with these types of

    • complaints.

  • 2. Signs of neighborhood neglect serve as magnets for criminal activity

  • because of the perception that residents “don’t care”

  • (the “broken windows” theory).

  • 3. Environmental crime enforcement offers the Police an avenue for

  • addressing chronic problem spots, such as crack houses, that have defied resolution through the use of traditional Police enforcement measures.


  • The central east story
    The Central East Story

    • William Traylor assigned to CE

    • Traylor and 2 DRs receive training

    • Actively pursue environmental issues

    • Success in cleaning up chronic hot spots

    • Presentations to community groups

    • Developed “ROAR” program

    • Positive feedback from public and 5th floor

    • “Keep Austin Beautiful” award


    What went wrong
    What went wrong?

    • Complaints from citizens/business owners

    • Complaints from Watershed Protection

    • Conflict between APD & Watershed Protection

    • Internal conflict

    • Conflict with SAFE unit

    • Problems with ROAR program

    • Supervisory issues w/William Traylor & DRs


    Response to problems
    Response to Problems

    • Public presentations stopped

    • ROAR program discontinued

    • Environmental complaints referred to SAFE

    • and/or other responsible agencies

    • William Traylor placed under NPZD


    The current state of affairs
    The Current State of Affairs

    • No proactive environmental crime efforts in CE

    • No public outreach or education

    • William Traylor restricted to Building Code

    • violations, not allowed to respond to citizen

    • complaints

    • Traylor is underutilized, ineffective, demoralized

    • Overall complaints to the SAFE unit have declined


    Areas of interest
    Areas of Interest

    • This is work we should be doing

    • We are currently not doing it

    • Overall environmental complaints have decreased

    • With training, officers can be successful in correcting

    • environmental problems

    • It is possible to affect long-standing criminal problems

    • through code enforcement

    • Past efforts were positively received by public & 5th floor

    • Code enforcement can be highly motivating for officers

    • Previously, there was a lack of supervision and direction

    • Turf battles resulted

    • Type A employee is underutilized and demoralized


    Mission
    Mission

    Fix the problems

    and make it work.


    Analyze
    Analyze

    • Attribution - WPD/APD - bias on both sides

    • Equity - William Traylor

      • VDL - “Out Group”

      • Other DRs

  • Job Redesign

  • Socialization


  • Analyze cont
    Analyze (Cont.)

    • Conflict - WPD/APD

      • Physical Separation

      • Infrequent Interaction

      • Ambiguous Work Assignments

      • Competition over Scarce Resources

  • Conflict - CE DRs/SAFE unit

  • Expert Power - WPD


  • Analyze cont1
    Analyze (Cont.)

    • Managing the Environment

      • WPD - High Threat - Low Cooperation


    Respond
    Respond

    • Manage the Environment - Define the Arena

      • Develop protocol delineating:

        • Which problems APD can work,

        • which ones should be referred

        • Who to refer problem to

        • General enforcement guidelines

  • Initiate Problem Solving Process


  • Respond cont
    Respond (Cont.)

    • Increase Valence

      • Emphasize Benefits

        • More problems worked

        • APD can reduce their workload

  • Reduce Future Conflict

    • Liaison Group

      • Reduce physical separation,

      • infrequent interaction issues

  • Superordinate Goal


  • Respond cont1
    Respond (Cont.)

    • Introduce Cultural Change

      • A new way of “doing business”

  • Job Redesign - Vertical Loading

    • All DRs attend Code EnforcementTraining

      • Increase Expectancy

  • Increase Valence

  • Reduce Resistance to Change

    • Emphasize Need for Change

    • Emphasize Positive Benefits


  • Respond cont2
    Respond (Cont.)

    • Job Redesign - Vertical Loading

      • Support Lt./DR Sgt. Attend Code

      • Enforcement Training

  • Develop Written SOP

    • Increase Expectancy

    • Socialize

      • Establish Goals & Priorities

      • Clarify Norms & Expectations

    • Reinforcing Mechanism for change


  • Respond cont3
    Respond (Cont.)

    • SOP developed w/input from:

      • Other code enforcement agencies

      • Other law enforcement agencies

      • Muni. Court, Cty. Attorney, D.A.’s office

  • Restructure William Traylor’s job

    • Back under DR Sgt.

    • High Growth Needs

    • Autonomy, added responsibility

    • Frequent contact following transition


  • Respond cont4
    Respond (Cont.)

    • With assistance of WPD, revise public

    • education presentation

    • Work with SAFE unit to work out complaint

    • intake process

      • Superordinate Goal

      • Regular meetings


    Implementation
    Implementation

    • Lt/Sgt. Trained - 9/1/02

    • Flow process worked out with SAFE - 9/1/02

    • William Traylor’s job restructured - 10/1/02

    • SOP completed - 12/1/02

    • Protocol completed - 12/1/02

    • Public Education program revised - 12/1/02

    • All DRs trained - 12/31/02

    • Full Implementation - 1/1/03


    Assess
    Assess

    • Public surveys - upon implementation & every

    • 6 months afterward

    • Monthly stats on # of complaints received,

    • investigated, and their disposition

    • # of man hours spent on environmental crime

    • Other code enforcement agencies, SAFE,

    • and Patrol informally polled regularly


    3 final thoughts
    3 Final Thoughts

    • Can’t lose focus on our Technical Core

    • Involving citizens in the identification and

    • correction of unsightly and dangerous

    • neighborhood problems is an excellent

    • means of Building Social Capital

    • Environmental problems are not confined

    • to the Central East Area





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