Lemoore considers nuisance ordinance to fine repeat offenders

LEMOORE, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley city is considering an ordinance that would give fines to people who consistently break ordinances and laws in the city. It's aimed to help police officers deal with crime in the city of Lemoore.

There are some homes causing more problems than others in Lemoore. That's according to Police Chief Darrell Smith.

"We do have experience in the last six months where we responded to certain areas numerous times with drug activity, weapons crimes," said Smith.

The police chief says they can't change the state laws, but they can create a new penalty if they're having numerous problems with someone in a short amount of time. Smith says jail realignment and Prop 47 mean they're now dealing with repeat offenders who won't go to jail. So, he helped create a new nuisance ordinance for the city. It's his idea to deal with crime and disorder.

"If you've ever lived next door to a drug dealer, it's not a comfortable thing to actually experience," said Smith.

If the City Council passes the ordinance, code enforcement and police officers would be able to issue fines to people after they've been called to the same home three times in a three-month time period. The first offense would be $100, and fines go up from there.

"Our intent is to actually hold the person responsible for the actions at the particular location," said Smith.

Landlords will also be notified if there is a problem at one of their homes. If they don't help fix the problem, they too can face a penalty.

Right now, it's up to the Lemoore City Council to vote yes so officers can start moving forward with dealing with problem homes. The City Council will have a final reading of this ordinance Tuesday night. If it's passed, it will go into effect in 31 days.

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