A new method for laying down the law
In budgeting for a community enforcement officer position, the City of Wilsonville is attempting a law enforcement tact that has little to do with the Wilsonville Police Department.
Though they won't be a sworn-in police officer, the community enforcement officer will respond to complaints, engage with community members and issue citations for City code violations. City staff hope the individual will free up other departments to focus on central duties, respond to the deluge of phone calls and strengthen the City's relationship with the community.
Wilsonville City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said the City discussed adding the enforcement officer over the last few years and added the salary for the position to its latest budget, which went into effect July 1, 2017.
Previously departments such as planning, the police department and buildings staff dealt with violations, he added.
Violations and complaints have spiked over the years as Wilsonville has grown and have become unnecessarily burdensome for staff members, violations, he added.
The planning department particularly had a difficult time dealing with violations such as noise complaints, abandoned vehicles and signage infractions during election season.
"(Based on) analysis on the number of code enforcement activities that planning staff had been involved in, the number and nature of those calls have increased dramatically," Cosgrove said.
However, the officer will likely work in the plan-
ning department office, he added.
Wilsonville Police Chief Rob Wurpes said the new code enforcement officer will allow police officers to focus on more pressing issues such as traffic enforcement.
"That's going to be a nice supplement to the police. They will handle code enforcement issues and one of the big ones is parking. They'll be able to assist us in that," Wurpes said.
The City plans to post the job online within the next three weeks.