Landlord Accountability Focus of City In Effort To Deter Crime

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MPD Chief Karl Durr said his department is leveraging resources from state and federal agencies to intelligence gathering by the city’s Vice, Narcotics, Gang and Violent Crime units. Durr said those efforts, combined with ongoing work, will help the City demand greater responsibility and engagement by apartment complex owners and managers.

“We are working tirelessly to apprehend those who bring violence and gunfire to our City,” said MPD Chief Karl Durr. “The collaborative enforcement includes working with our partners at MTSU Police, TBI, FBI, ATF, DEA and both the District and U.S. Attorney’s Office to share information pertinent to effectively combating crime.”

Lyons said the City has already taken several steps to address the problem through ordinance.  In November 2016, the City Council adopted an unruly gathering ordinance to combat shootings and the high level of service calls as apartment complexes.

Under the ordinance (16-05-56), amended City Code, Chapter 21, by creating Section 21-6), the City can levy civil penalties of $250 for a first violation, and $500 for a second and subsequent violation, for “a party or gathering where alcohol is served or consumed,” and “where there is a sufficient number of attendees that an officer reasonably believes the host cannot directly control behavior of attendees.”

If a minor is cited, the owner of the property is subject to the penalty. The appeals process also provides the City Manager with administrative authority to consider whether the property owner has taken “measures to prevent or discourage” unruly gatherings, including “hiring on-site security” and “imposing strict behavior standards in the rental agreement.”

The University recommends on-campus housing as the best residential option for students, especially for freshmen, said MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster.  The latest campus crime statistics from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) show drops in most major categories.

However, when considering an off-campus housing option, the University urges students and parents to see and inspect such units in person before making a commitment, he said.

“Be advised that some complexes put forward marketing that use works like ‘campus’ and ‘university,’ but the University does not have any role in the operation or management of those off-campus facilities,” he said.

MTSU’s Police Department employs 44 full-time police officers, five full-time dispatchers and about 20 part-time student workers.  It operates around the clock to protect the 500-plus-acre University campus.

MTSU Working With City To Deter Crime Spree

 

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