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Fishers police propose "Public Safety Nuisance" ordinance

Fishers police urge the city to approve "Public Safety Nuisance" ordinance
Posted at 11:22 PM, May 16, 2023

FISHERS — In Fishers, there's a plan to save police time and effort that can be better spent keeping residents safe. The city council is considering a "Public Safety Nuisance Ordinance,” to hold businesses accountable for repeat service calls.

Fishers Police said so far they have at least 10 businesses, what they call "hot spots," with 15 or more excessive repeat calls for public safety assistance.

Several of those businesses are located on 96th street. Police hope this ordinance will help them before it gets too out of hand.

"We feel that time going to those places repeatedly could be spent proactive patrols and other things in the community," FPD Chief Ed Gebhardt said.

It's a measure Fishers police believe will help make a huge difference in how they serve their community.

"Our goal here is not to get out here and sting the public. It is to build relationships with them," said Gebhardt.

The department created a public safety nuisance team to help businesses navigate situations without the police getting involved.

"Repeated 911 calls coming from cleaners and people within hotels, or abandoned vehicles, or suspicious activities in the public. Things that we can work through with our public to mitigate that," said Gebhardt.

If the council approves the ordinance, here’s how it will work, if a business reaches seven calls within 90 days:

“We would send out a warning letter to the business of saying, 'hey, you're near violating the ordinance of the city of Fishers. When you get to 10, if you have 3 more, we're going to call and have a meeting to talk about what's going on in your business location," said Gebhardt.

If that doesn't work and the business reaches 10 calls within 30 days:

“Our hope is at 10, they enter into a remediation agreement with us to work with us to mitigate or lower those calls for service," said Gebhardt.

And if that doesn't work and the business reaches 15 or more:

“If they ignore us, or they're not coming to the meetings, or they don't comply at 15 we would consider them chronic," said Gebhardt.

Q: So, what does it mean if your business is deemed a chronic violator?

A: "So you'll have that chronic violation designation for 6 months. Any subsequent calls for service, filed complaints, or citations will be accompanied by a fine of $250," said Director of the Health Department Monica Heltz.

Police have already started reaching out to some "hot spot" businesses to work through issues.

If the city council approves in June, Fishers Police hopes to enforce this ordinance on August 1st.