Looks like Phoenix has some busy messy yard cops!
Phoenix tells apartment owner to board up vacant units' windows
by Eugene Scott - Feb. 11, 2011 11:51 AM
The Arizona Republic
The City Prosecutor's Office had a northeast Phoenix apartment owner board up vacant units after parents complained that transients were exposing themselves to kids.
Parents in the Palomino Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization voiced their concerns about Desert View Apartments to representatives from the Phoenix Prosecutor's Office at a recent Coffee Talk, a weekly meeting at the school to discuss issues affecting the neighborhood.
"I believe someone mentioned two of the apartments open being vacant. And they have been used as a place where people can commit any number of crimes, of particular note, harming children," city Prosecutor Aaron Carreon-Ainsa said. "Open and vacant structures pose a real danger to people."
Palomino is in the Paradise Valley Unified School District, which contacted the prosecutor's office.
"We certainly educate and talk to both children and parents about safe behaviors. And we provide a setting where the community can come together to discuss neighborhood issues and safety issues, so we make the school available as a meeting site," district spokeswoman Marty Macurak said.
The district's elementary schools do not have school resource officers, she said, but police at nearby middle and high schools respond to emergencies at elementary schools when needed.
There are no plans to bring a school resource officer to Palomino.
"Unfortunately, a budget is just a fact of life and we have to live within the budget," she said.
Palomino Elementary School is at 15002 N. 32nd St., near Desert View Apartments, 16006 N. 27th St.
Vista Verde Middle, 2826 E. Grovers Ave., is the closest school to Palomino with a school resource officer.
Parents at the Coffee Talk meeting told Maria Uhing, a community prosecutor specialist with the city, that transients were exposing themselves to children and urinating in public.
"No one named names and no one cited particular dates and no one said no one in particular was hurt," Carreon-Ainsa said. "We do not know of any crimes being committed against children on that property. We only know what was mentioned in that meeting. We have not had anyone verify (crimes) with hard evidence."
The owners of Desert View Apartments have boarded up the vacant apartments in compliance with city codes to prevent future incidents.
The listed number for Desert View Apartments was disconnected.
"We focus on solving problems as quickly and efficiently as we can. Part of the business we're in is in prevention," Carreon-Ainsa said.
Parents complained about other illicit activities taking place in nearby parks and other areas. They were encouraged to contact city officials whenever they see problems.
"The proper procedure is to call the police," Carreon-Ainsa said. "The police will respond and investigate and determine who committed the crime and pursue that person."