Racine aims to solve repeated police calls with nuisance ordinance

RACINE — A new ordinance approved in Racine could have landlords and building owners paying for repeated police calls to a residence.

The city of Racine says it’s been left with no choice but to bill the owners of troublesome buildings and residences.

“If they don’t and it continues to be a nuisance, we start to determine the cost of that to the taxpayers and bill them,” said Racine mayor John Dickert.

Dickert says under the new ordinance, the chief of police has the option to label a home or business a nuisance if it receives three or more police calls in a three-month period. 

“If we have an apartment complex that is costing us 50 or 60 police calls a month they are costing the taxpayers a lot of money,” Dickert said.

“That first step would be to see if there are remedies to see if you can correct yourself and that’s the best system of checks and balances that I’ve seen there,” said Racine alderman Keith Fair.

If an owner or a tenant does not correct a problem, Fair explains that the Common Council can order the responsible party to pay the costs of the nuisance calls.

“If I’m living in the home and I’m the one creating all the problems and I’m paying rent, so basically this is my home,” Fair said.

Dickert said it’s not just about wasting money.  It’s also about wasting time.”The cities are constantly being cut and funds are constantly being cut from the cities,” he said. “We have to look for innovative ways to deal with our problems.” 

The new nuisance ordinance will be in effect for the next three years.

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