Evansville's 'good neighbor' ordinance moves out

For the past couple of years in Evansville, being a good neighbor meant more than picking up after your pet.

The city's Good Neighbor ordinance was served an eviction notice at Monday night's city council meeting.

“We could evict people who were committing major acts, like narcotic dealing, rape, murder, you name it, but at the same time with the lesser crimes, it allowed us to have a warning system, and what we found out, if we gave one warning, we almost never had to go back and give a second one,” said Officer Kevin Cordon, with Evansville Police Department's crime prevention unit.

The decision came after the statehouse passed a law last year, making it illegal for the city to enforce the ordinance.

“It was a way of getting people who had committed serious acts out of a home quickly, as opposed to making an arrest, and hoping that they wouldn't misbehave and have to go back and deal with the same issues all over again,” said Officer Cordon.

“They took away a tool that we utilized, and we utilized it daily to help our neighborhoods be safe and a great place for us to live,” said Missy Mosby, Evansville City Council Ward 2.

EPD says the ordinance helped get hundreds of nuisances to their neighborhood, and city, out of Evansville just after a few years of being in effect.

"It costs the tax payers a lot of money to have this one house that we have to keep calling dispatch and keep sending the police out there, and giving them warnings, and, you know, everything like that costs money. Plus it takes time away from the police department when they could be out doing something else,” said Councilwoman Mosby.

Local tenants also say the ordinance put them at ease while under effect.

“You don't want to live in an environment where you don't feel safe, so if there's something going on that shouldn't be, I believe they should have a say so,” said Alaisha Johnson, an Evansville tenant.

For now, city officials and law enforcement are left to listen to their neighbors in Indianapolis.

EPD says a large amount of criminal charges that led to evictions under the ordinance were drug related.

The ordinance only targeted repeat offenders.


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