PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR OR ACTIVITY
Law enforcement is often called to respond to complaints of disturbances or unwanted individuals on properties. In many cases the behavior of an individual or individuals has not risen to the level of arrest or citation, leaving the property owner or other controlling entity of a property without defense or effective recourse if persons return. These unwanted individuals can substantially cause negative effect for a business or other properties by their actions. Some examples of these negative behaviors are panhandling, hanging out at businesses and having no discernible legitimate purpose, creating a hostile environment for employees/customers, making unreasonable noise, or consuming alcohol on the premises.
IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
The perception of safety for business staff, customers, property owners, residents and other legitimate users of a property can be called into question by the presence of problematic individuals. In some instances this can drive away business, cause residents to move, or may make it difficult to retain staff. This can have the additional impact of causing a particular area to decline, as positive users move on to properties where they feel more secure.
The exclusion program allows property owners/managers to engage the services of patrol to exclude individuals from their property for a period of one year. Individuals who meet the criteria for exclusion are given a notice by a deputy stipulating that they are not allowed back for 365 days, and should they return, they will be charged with Criminal Trespass. If a property owner or other person with control of a property wishes to have a specific individual excluded, they contact nonemergency personnel and request the exclusion. The person must meet specific criteria for the exclusion to be applied. The responding deputy interviews the subject while he or she is still on the premises and gives the person a “notice of exclusion.” The person being excluded is given the option to appeal the exclusion within 7 days of receiving the notification.
The cost for the program is minimal. There is an associated cost for an hour or two of salary per week for administering the program and for NCR forms used in the field.
This program was implemented without the benefit of grant funds, but was quick to implement without much expense.
The exclusion program has been an effective tool for assisting properties in lessening or eliminating problematic individuals from coming back to their premises. Many business owners who use this program find it beneficial in keeping themselves, their staff, and customers safe. The exclusion program also has the effect of lessening repeat calls to law enforcement regarding individuals who habitually cause issues for property owners.
CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS
The deputies on the street have been critical in spreading the word about this program to property owners they believe would benefit.
Be clear with businesses and other properties who wish to enroll in this program that this is only to assist them with individuals who meet the specific criteria as specified in the program. It does not apply to persons if they simply wish to decline service, or to persons they may have personal history with, unless the behavior clearly fits the criteria as spelled out in the program. Mobile home parks are one type of property that should not be enrolled in the exclusion program, since the customary arrangement is that persons lease the land, but own the structure of their home. They should have the right to invite whomever they choose to their residence.