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Broken window may signal multiple problems

Did you see that? The broken window on that house or how about the car; it looks abandoned. The crime-based broken window theory surveys how “norm-setting” is affected by urban disorder. The theory hit the mainstream in 1982. However, studies in the late ’60s first examined the question of urban spoil.

The theory suggests if a community allows for disorder — let’s say a building with a broken window or a parked abandoned-looking vehicle — then more disorder will occur to the building or vehicle if order is not returned and established. In other words, if we let litter just be, then before you know it, we’ll have a trash dump in front of the house. This hypothesis was simultaneously tested in Palo Alto, Calif., and Bronx, N.Y., by a Stanford psychologist in 1969.

The broken window doesn’t only apply to homes. Actually, a broken window is not only about a window. It’s about the blight a community experiences when its inattention to correct an eyesore lingers, creating more dysfunction. Simply stated, let’s not allow our neighborhood and streets to fall into disrepair. One rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch.

Many may be asking, “Why is this important in Boulder City?” As you know, many homes are vacant because of an unfortunate series of events, for example, being in foreclosure. While in the course of doing our job, we find many of these homes being squatted in. These squatters may stay for a day or longer, cause damage and increase the homes’ dilapidation.

As you drive around town, you may have noticed some streets are occluded with cars, RVs, boats, trailers and motor homes. There’s a state statue that addresses the issue of leaving these above mentioned cream puffs parked on a roadway. If you’re interested, look specifically at Nevada Revised Statue 484B.483.

We may not agree with all the laws on the books, but we have to enforce them if the time comes. As we begin the new year, let’s try to keep our neighborhoods and streets in good order.

“Control, 269, We’ll be 10-8 in service.”

Dec. 1. As the Christmas decorations go up, the temperatures are dropping. But the speeders don’t seem to stop. As the excited driver heads for Las Vegas, he is stopped by Boulder City’s finest. Going 20 mph above the speed limit is a concern. Unfortunately, a ticket isn’t enough since the driver forgot to pay his ticket from last he came through BC. Dear Henderson Jail, do you have room for one?

Dec. 2. A crafty admitted heroin user grabs a receipt out of the trash. He goes into Vons, takes the items on the receipt off the shelf and then tries to return the items. A quick score. Slow down, Lone Ranger. The Vons manager is no apprentice. We arrive, trespass the subject and on a pat down, bingo! Officer finds a bundle of heroin. Maybe, these really are not his clothes.

Dec. 3. Officers are dispatched to a vacant home near Yucca Street. The home has a broken window. How about that! Oh yeah, there are male and female subjects squatting in the home. And what do the subjects have? Methamphetamine. The couple will be temporarily separated while staying in jail.

Dec. 4. The CVS manager chases a thief who just walked out with approximately $1,100 worth of merchandise. The assailant tries to get into a truck, but the doors are locked. After dropping all the items, he becomes a track star. Officers arrive, tow the unoccupied vehicle at the manager’s request and get surveillance video. I wonder who’s going to pick up the truck?

Dec. 5. You’re not going to believe this one. The CVS manager calls and lets us know yesterday’s thief is back in the store, shopping — thieving — for the same stuff. We arrive before Bruce Jenner could leave. One heading to the big house.

Dec. 6. The music is loud, it’s cold outside and the alcohol is flowing. Officers arrive at the Backstop Sports Pub regarding subjects becoming affectionate, with their fists. The melee is broken up and the intoxicated aggressor is borrowing some of our bracelets.

Dec. 7. Have you ever seen a deer in front of headlights? An officer sees a driver, well, the “deer in the headlights” look. As the driver speeds by, the officer makes the stop. The driver’s suspended status is because of a DUI. We’re glad he took up fishing, but he shouldn’t have driven to the fish pond. Now, he’s heading to Henderson and his wife came to get the fish out of the car.

Hope everyone had a great week. The Christmas parade went well and thankfully, no one was hurt.

Let’s not forget, try and maintain the order of the community by properly caring for our homes and vehicles.

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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