Can the City Put a Placard on My Door Due to Habitual Criminal Activity?

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of MarijuanaAre Dallas police able to mark your home or business to warn others that habitual crime takes place there? A newly proposed ordinance would allow it. The ordinance is part of a set of changes the Dallas Police Department is pushing to help better combat crime in problem areas.

The process is called nuisance abatement, and would work something like this:

  1. If five abatable crimes – thinks like trespassing, prostitution, gambling, drug transactions, arson or graffiti – happen on a property in a 365-day period, the police conduct a review of the property.
  2. The owner of the property receives a notice to meet with DPD and the Dallas City Attorney’s Office.
  3. The property owner can use the meeting to demonstrate to city representatives what is being done to prevent further crime on the property.
  4. If the Dallas Police Chief determines that the property is still a habitual criminal property, the city can place a placard on the property explaining to readers what criminal activity happens there.
  5. The property owner would have to pay for inspection costs related to ensuring that steps are being taken to eliminate or reduce crime on the property.
  6. Removal of the placards would be a crime.

The ultimate goal of the ordinance, according to Chief U. Renee Hall, is to help DPD build trust in the communities it serves and to eliminate criminal nuisances, revitalize neighborhoods and provide cleaner place to live, work and play.

Do you believe police should be able to label your property a habitual criminal property?

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