Based on the theory that there is a link between blight and crime, a bill is moving through the City Council to reduce blight in the city.
Sponsored by Council Members Randy DeFoor and Randy White, the bill would spend $200,000 to clean up blight in the Brentwood area.
DeFoor told Eye on Jacksonville that neighborhood was chosen after consultation with various city departments including public works and code enforcement, and the sheriff’s office.
It was identified as an area with a lot of crime and a lot of blight.
The bill would result in cleanup of unsightly property, both public and private. In the case of private property, the property would be subject to a lien for any work done by the city, DeFoor said.
The theory seems to be an offshoot of the “broken window” theory of policing that was popular back in the 1990s. It posits that rundown neighborhoods breed crime.
Wikipedia says, “Under the broken windows theory, an ordered and clean environment, one that is maintained, sends the signal that the area is monitored and that criminal behavior is not tolerated. Conversely, a disordered environment, one that is not maintained (broken windows, graffiti, excessive litter), sends the signal that the area is not monitored and that criminal behavior has little risk of detection.”
DeFoor said the amount of blight and amount of crime will be re-examined after six months in an effort to see if the program has had an impact, if the proposal is enacted. It could be on next Tuesday’s council agenda.