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Code cops making progress

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By David Giuliani

The city’s two new uniformed code enforcement officers are making headway on the issues of loose animals and illegal parking, officials say.

The city recently transferred such responsibilities from the Community Development Department to the Police Department.

Police Chief Gary Gold said that in a recent two-and-a-half week period, the two officers, Jacob Herron and Rodney Perea, had issued 50 citations, including  warnings.

They also captured 42 loose animals, the chief said.

The Police Department has divided the city into six sectors for its code enforcement officers, and they are being asked to focus on loose animals and illegal parking.

Previously, the chronically understaffed Animal Control Department had been in charge of patrolling the streets for loose animals. But its employees were bogged  down by the duty of caring for animals at the city pound, which is behind City Hall.

Loose dogs are such a problem in Las Vegas that morning walkers often carry sticks to ward off any seemingly vicious canines.

City officials also see illegal parking as particularly troublesome. Many residents choose to park on sidewalks, a problem the code enforcement officers are being asked to address.

During a City Council meeting last week, Gold introduced its members to the two code officers. Perea said he and his colleague are taking a friendly approach, starting out with verbal notifications about violations. He said they’ll be sensitive to the elderly who have yards with overgrown weeds.  

Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron complimented the officers on their professional appearance. They wear police-type uniforms, which contrasts with what the officers in the Community Development Department used to wear — polo shirts and jeans.

Unlike the previous officers, the two new ones’ shifts include nights and weekends.

Gurule-Giron said she would like to see all four code enforcement positions filled.

However, the city is holding off on filling the vacancies until officials see whether revenue comes in higher than projected next fiscal year, which starts Thursday.