What is Code Enforcement?
Some may view Code Enforcement as an intrusion on the free use of private property. However, Code Enforcement is actually an important part of achieving community goals. It empowers citizens to create and maintain healthy, safe and attractive living and working environments. Well-kept neighborhoods attract people to live, work, raise families, and retire in a community.
Traditionally, Code Enforcement is a process for local governments to work with members of the community to gain compliance with duly-adopted regulations, such as Zoning and Land Use Ordinances, Health and Housing Codes, Building and Fire Codes, and Sign Standards. Now much of the process is done by a Code Enforcement Officer acting on behalf of the local government to ensure compliance with codes, permits, policies, regulations and rules. A Code Enforcement Officer must understand the adoption process and the purpose behind the regulations they enforce as well as the legal limits placed on them.
Today’s Code Enforcement Officer is a public servant whose duties fall between the process of policy making and the processes of law enforcement and litigation. Government officials at every level create and adopt laws, codes, ordinances, policies, rules, and regulations in an effort to address problems, needs or mandates. Enforcement brings them down to a more personal level, dealing with individual properties to address any issues that may arise. If a property is found in violation of any laws, codes, ordinances, policies, rules, or regulations, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue verbal or written Warnings and Notices to persuade voluntary compliance or by filing court actions. Code Enforcement Officers work closely with local law enforcement with many enforcement situations.
What is a Code Enforcement Officer?
A Code Enforcement Officer is a government employee with specialized training that may be sworn in to serve as an inspector, investigator or officer. The primary duties are enforcement of laws regulating public nuisance, health, safety and welfare, public works, building standards, business activities and consumer protection, land-use or municipal affairs and prevention, detection and investigation of violations.