Brockport chief wants code enforcement involved in police investigations
Brockport, N.Y. - Brockport's police chief wants to team up with the village to make sure rental properties are up to code. This comes after police searched an unrecognized frat house off Brockport’s campus last week.
"Law enforcement, code enforcement, personally, I think they should be married at the hip," said Police Chief Dan Varrenti. "We would be able to invite another governmental entity, if you will, code enforcement in this case, into the residence and have them inspect it for wrongdoing."
Fifty-four percent of homes in the Village of Brockport are homeowner-occupied. Many of them are on the skirts of the village.
The rest are rental properties - such as 104 Monroe Avenue, which is occupied by an unrecognized fraternity "The Delts." Multiple police agencies searched this home in connection with hazing allegations. Some are concerned the rentals aren’t being kept up to code.
"The critical thing in terms of safety for the tenants is for these properties to be up to code, and to be inspected on a three-year basis” said Brockport Village Mayor Margaret Blackman.
Village code enforcement last inspected the Monroe Ave home in August 2016, before being handed over to a new landlord.
At that time, there were violations: Missing smoke detectors, chipping paint, and furniture and trash left outdoors.
The violations were fixed, and the landlord received his certificate of occupancy.
"A lot can happen the day after someone walks out of a house and it's been inspected, which is problematic in and of itself," Varrenti said.
"Part of it is coming up with a good lease agreement that will prevent these types of things,” said Blackman. “If people are going to turn it into a pigsty, unless you're going and checking on it all the time, you don't know that."
Brockport’s police chief believes the home needs another inspection.
"I think there's more than enough evidence that was uncovered that this house, right now, should have its certificate of occupancy revoked," said Varrenti.
The village code enforcer plans to visit the frat house once the police investigation wraps up - which Varrenti hopes will happen this week, with a handful of arrests. He said investigators are examining evidence and statements given by those who in the home.
“We’re looking at what admissions they’ve made,” he said, "what statements someone might have made against another individual, and looking at the totality of all the evidence and not just one myopic piece.”