HAMLET — Having tall grass or a junky yard could lead to residents of the Seaboard City getting a visit from police.
The Hamlet Police Department announced last week that it would be taking over the responsibility of code enforcement.
The proposal was given the greenlight by the Hamlet City Council on May 25, according to a Facebook post.
“This reassignment of responsibilities will aid in the timeliness of addressing quality of life issues in Hamlet,” the post reads. “The police department’s initial focus will include abandoned houses, trash, junked and non-registered vehicles, high grass, and brush.”
Hamlet City Manager Matthew Christian said he and Chief Dennis Brown had been discussing the change for several months.
“Code Enforcement has always been a partnership between city administration and law enforcement,” Christian told the RO in a June 7 email. “Consolidating these civil and in some cases criminal enforcement actions will help us be more efficient and effective.”
Christian said code violations are a “significant problem” in any community, “and Hamlet is no exception.”
“We hope that addressing common violations such as abandoned homes and vehicles, overgrowth, and other junk will improve the quality of life in our community,” Christian added.
Code enforcement will be handled by Antoinette Hurtt, a civilian employee of the department with past law enforcement experience, according to the chief.
Residences with noticeable violations will receive a red notice hanging on the door, the Facebook post reads. The notice will include instructions on improvements required to bring the residence back up to code.
“We are going to work with those who need help, but our goal is to have universal compliance,” the post reads.
For now, neighbors wanting to report a code violation can contact Hurtt by emailing ahurtt @ hamletnc.us or calling the department at 910-582-2551 and leaving a message. All notifications can remain anonymous, according to the post.
The department is also working on a way for violations to be reported online.
“Please keep in mind that this is a very large, complex, and often a time-consuming job,” the post concludes. “We ask you to be patient as we work on these issues.”