Evansville code enforcement agents to get bulletproof vests

Evansville code enforcement agents to get bulletproof vests
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 5:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The people who enforce Evansville’s property codes may soon be a little safer. The city has aside money to buy them bulletproof vests.

City officials care about the city’s curb appeal.

“It’s the environment that people see when they drive down the street,” said city councilman Ron Beane. “The condition of the homes, the weeds if they’re tall, the trash, it all detracts from the beauty of our city.”

To that end, the building commission enforces codes that dictate how property should be maintained. They also have inspectors that evaluate if those codes are being followed.

This can include how well-kept your lawn is, or how tall your weeds are. It also means inspectors have to go into vacant houses, where they sometimes surprise squatters or drug addicts.

City Councilman Ron Beane used to be the city building commissioner, and he’s seen how dangerous the job can get.

“We’ve had inspectors be physically assaulted,” said Beane. “We’ve had inspectors threatened, their lives threatened.”

The building commission approached the city council with concerns for the safety of their inspectors, asking for bulletproof vests as well as emergency radios.

“This is the kind of thing that you want to do it before something happens,” said Beane. “You don’t want to do it after something happens.”

The city council approved the money in a unanimous decision, allocating $56,950 between the building commission and code enforcement.

“It was the right thing to do, and I was very glad the city council approved,” said Beane.

Councilman Beane says code enforcement agents stay busy, and the city council is looking at adding agents in the future.

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