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News Details

SMART Team Sees Results

The City of Visalia's Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-Bound (SMART) Team brings together several Departments to work ever more closely on a variety of issues, ranging from graffiti abatement to abandoned shopping carts.

The SMART Team is comprised of staff from the Neighborhood Preservation and Parks and Urban Forestry Divisions, and the Police and Fire Departments. Since 2009, the SMART Team has reported to the City Council on their objectives and activities and did so at a recent Council meeting.

Highlights Include:

Neighborhood Preservation Division
  • 1,847 substandard housing cases were reported, which is a slight decrease from the 1,912 that was received in 2015. Substandard housing complaints usually consist of improper utilities, structures not intended for habitation being occupied, raw sewage, hoarding issues that have created a dangerous living situation and infestation complaints.
  • 102 marijuana grows were required to be abated, this is an increase from the 58 abated in 2015.
  • 54 properties have been declared a “Public Nuisance” based on excessive, unwarranted police calls or significant criminal activities. 23 of those properties were declared a public nuisance during this reporting period, compared to 16 during 2015.
Police Department
  • Homelessness in Visalia continues to be one of the most significant and difficult issues facing the City. It also continues to significantly impact police operations. Citywide there was a 53% increase in the total number of transient-related calls for service (CFS) in 2016 compared to 2015. There were 2,780 transient related CFS in 2015 and 4,242 in 2016. 
  • During 2016, the Team continued to address panhandling and trespassing/camping violations in Downtown Visalia, the Lincoln Oval Area and the South Mooney Boulevard Commercial District.
  • As a result of the successes of the Special Detail Officers that began to address homelessness issues in January of 2016 on a trial-basis, the two temporary Special Detail Officer positions have been made permanent with the creation of the Homeless Outreach Proactive Enforcement (HOPE) team. The same overall efforts will continue, including collaborative efforts with key service partners and Code Enforcement. An emphasis will continue on directing team efforts in addressing those individuals who are the top users of city services as a result of their homelessness.

Fire Department
  • 905 multi-unit housing complexes where fire inspections should be performed were identified and 4,274 businesses were inspected in 2016.
  • 786 Weed Abatement/Property Maintenance cases were received, with 1,360 inspections/re-inspections having taken place.

Parks & Urban Forestry
  • 992 hours were spent on homeless issues, including removal of shopping carts, posting signs and working with contractors to remove camps.
  • Over 850 shopping carts were removed.

To see the entire report, as presented to the City Council, see the Agenda Item here.

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