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Burlington Police Patrol: “The Problem Houses”

September 8, 2015

UVM and the police department together are working to find the areas of the off-campus neighborhoods with the most amount of “problems.”

“We’re identifying what we call ‘problem houses’ and then working with the landlord to make sure that they are held accountable,” Stevens said.  

The top 12 of these “problem properties”– locations where there have been three or more calls for service during a given lease year – were identified by Burlington Code Enforcement, according to the memo presented at the April 27 city council meeting.

There were a total of 149 calls for service to these 12 properties in the two years prior to July 2014, according to the memo.  In fiscal year 2015, as a result of BPD officers spending the summer of 2014 targeting these 12 houses, there was a 73 percent reduction of calls for service to the homes, according to the memo.

Stevens said this initiative is not about the students; it’s about the neighborhoods.  It is important for the problem properties to be identified because Burlington Police officers can then focus on these kinds of incidents where they are most likely to happen, instead of taking more officers away from more serious matters to cover a wide area, she said.

It also helps prevent more serious things from happening at these problem properties later on in the semester, she said.

“It pays off in threefold as we get into the semester,” Stevens said.  “It really does.”

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