Combatting crime: New Marietta program step in right direction
June 15, 2014 04:00 AM | 2941 views | 6 6 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Apartment complexes contributing disproportionately to Marietta’s crime rate soon will be under heightened scrutiny, thanks to a program approved Wednesday by the City Council.

That body voted 6-1 to start asking owners of apartment complexes that exceed the city’s average crime rate to be part of a crime-reduction program. Those owners would pay a $250 fee in exchange for suggestions by police on how to make their complexes less conducive to potential law-breakers — everything from improved lighting, trimming shrubs to putting up taller, sturdier fences.

Police also would be allowed onto those properties to search for violations of city health and safety codes.

“Our goal is not to be punitive with this and not to put anyone out of business. Our goal is just to make it safer for them,” said Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn said. “We’re very much recommending this on behalf of the decent, law-abiding residents.”

His department plans to use formulas to calculate the average number of crimes per 1,000 people at each complex, then compare that number to the average crime rate at all the complexes in the city.

As originally proposed, the new program would have required such property owners to take part. But unfortunately, the council watered down the measure at the behest of Councilman Philip Goldstein, who still voted against it because he said it would give police the right to tell business owners how to do business.

“Where do we have the right to regulate day-to-day operations of a city apartment business?” Goldstein asked.

Making suggestions about safety-related issues isn’t what most Mariettans would define as “managing a business.”

Especially when many recipients of the soon-to-be-forthcoming suggestions from police haven’t exactly been “taking care of business” to start with. Even a cursory look at the crime stats in the Franklin Road corridor makes that clear.

So now it will be up to the individual property owners to decide whether to take part. One can’t but think there probably are apartment slumplex owners in the city, especially in the Franklin corridor, who will prefer to keep their $250 each month and care less about the fact their properties are little better than havens for law-breaking.

But once the program is in place, there’s nothing to stop the council from revisiting it and reinserting more muscle into it. Taking a full step in the right direction, instead of last week’s half step. For now, though, the council — well, most of it, anyway — deserves praise for being proactive to combat crime.

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anonymous
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June 15, 2014
It stuns me how little Chief Flynn understands of the constitution. It sickens me how he couches his willingness to intrude on personal property rights and the 4th amendment as making things "safer" for "the decent, law-abiding residents".

The implication Flynn makes being that HE(and his officers) can ACTUALLY make citizens safer AND, only people who are doing something wrong would ever have a problem with him (figuratively speaking) having his finger in their behind.

Combined with Chief Flynn's red-light photo camera database (I bet most Mariettans still don't know this is going on!), Chief Flynn is either a totalitarian tool ready to do some oppression for the powers that be...or he is simply unqualified to be a lawful police chief.

Mariettans need to hold the Mayor and City Council accountable for the police chief they have put in place. The police/surveillance state has begun in Marietta and the people elected to the City Council are encouraging Chief Flynn to to make it bigger...all in the name of "keeping citizens safe".

Wake up freedom loving Mariettans!
red light camera
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June 17, 2014
The red light cameras just take snapshots of car tags that run red lights. These contraptions do actually help keep intersections clear. Your concern should probably be the tag scanners mounted on the Marietta PD patrol cars that scan every tag in sight at all times and save all the info. If you drove through Marietta, the Marietta PD knows about it!

Presumably this must be why City of Marietta apparently just refuses to add bicycle lanes anywhere despite the obvious and 10 year old precedent in all neighboring suburb cities... If you are on a bicycle, the cops might now know who you are or whether you're going where you normall go!!
Watcher...
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June 15, 2014
It appears that "very commendable" may not understand the ideals of personal property rights!
Watcher...
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June 15, 2014
"Police also would be allowed onto those properties to search for violations of city health and safety codes."

Does this mean that Marietta Police will be doing warrantless searches of individual apartment units?

very commendable
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June 15, 2014
I think it is time, really, for some measures to be put in place to fight crime in high crime areas. I think it is reprehensible, irresponsible, and just plain disgusting that one person, ONE PERSON, can cause this to be "watered down". I am glad that you told us just who the person was who was, of course, against this.
you carport
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June 17, 2014
I think the junk in your carport causes crime, so I will enact law to have the city charge you $250 for the privilege of having the city tell you to clean the junk from your garage and fix your fence. How about them apples?
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