WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) – Waterloo police announced a new Nuisance Property Task Force in response to frequent complaints of properties, and property owners, disregarding public safety for economic benefit.
The task force is expected to comprehensively address storefronts/commercial properties operating as after-hours clubs during the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier specifically cites the areas of the 100 block of Edwards, 500 block of Dane and the 500 block of West Fourth Street.
Waterloo Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald called them sources of violent crimes, illegal alcohol sales, drug activity and more.
That 500 block of West Fourth Street was home to Sin City, a private motorcycle club the Courier reports was turned down for a liquor license. Two people died and eight were injured in a mass shooting there on September 26.
“These venues operate outside of the law, City Code, and have been a nexus for firearm related injuries and fatalities,” Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said. “Our city deserves better.”
The city said the new task force is made up of law enforcement, code enforcement and the Waterloo Fire Marshal.
“Everyone who is involved in the operation of after-hours clubs to make a quick buck, and who allow criminal activity to occur will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
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In a news release, Waterloo police said the task force will take civil legal action against anyone involved in operating establishments in violation of city code, and will shut down any violent, dangerous and illegal operations.
“I want to make it crystal clear that property owners and landlords can’t simply ignore their legal obligations to abate criminal/nuisance conduct occurring in their premises,” Fitzgerald said. “If they turn a blind eye, facilitate it, or fail to assume responsibility because they are earning illegal proceeds while jeopardizing our community, they’ll find themselves in court facing the prospect of shuttered buildings, fines, and the loss of rental income.”
Residents can call in complaints to 319-291-2515.
Source: By KCRG Staff