Crime in Your Neighborhood

Beat Health Program

Mission

To provide professional police services that enhance, protect, and promote the quality of life in Modesto with an emphasis on the shared responsibility between citizens, businesses, community agencies and law enforcement.  ** The Beat Health Unit is currently suspended due to budget constraints **

Beat Health Unit

Modesto Police Departmentís Beat Health Unit was formed in August of 2004 to complement traditional law enforcementís battle against drug nuisance properties and illegal drug and criminal activity. When drug properties are allowed to thrive in neighborhoods, property values decrease and injuries to legitimate businesses and commerce occur. The quality of life for law-abiding persons working or residing in or near these locations erodes. The Modesto Police Department formed the Beat Health Unit to insure neighborhoods arenít lost to these drug dealers, users and criminals.

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Property Owners, Landlords, and Managers

Beat Health encourages owners, landlords, operators and managers of properties located within Modesto to take the positive steps necessary to prevent violations on their properties particularly those involving illegal drug trade or activity. One way Beat Health encourages this is by referring owners, property managers and landlords to attend training and get their properties certified through the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. This program is a nationally recognized program that began in Mesa, Arizona. For more information on the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, please call 572-9636.

Drug Nuisance Abatement

Beat Healthís abatement approach centers on a non-traditional, multi-agency approach in dealing with drug houses and/or blight nuisance houses. The goal is to increase the livability of neighborhoods by ridding them of drug dealers and users and improving the physical appearance of the neighborhood. Typically, but not always, properties that have drug activity occurring on them have a neglected appearance. These properties frequently, but not always, have an accumulation of unsightly trash, garbage, debris, abandoned vehicles, or other health or environmental hazards.

The Beat Health program uses a coordinated enforcement technique or S.M.A.R.T. (Special Multi-Agency Response Team) approach, in partnership with other government agencies and negotiates with property owners to improve their properties and obtain law-abiding tenants. Cases where property owners are uncooperative or refuse to comply with the law, are litigated civilly under Californiaís "Drug Nuisance Abatement Act (11570 of the California Health and Safety Code)." Beat Health also utilizes the City of Modestoís Municipal Code to address blight and disorder associated with drug and nuisance properties.

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Beat Health Future

Beat Health was recently awarded funding for a building inspector to be permanently assigned to the unit beginning in January 2006. This building inspector will enforce building and housing code violations associated with drug and nuisance properties.

Be Diligent

Diligence is one of the most successful traits needed to combat a drug house or property. Drug property problems canít be resolved overnight. It takes a partnership between citizens and public and private agencies to rid a neighborhood of a "drug house or property." There may be times when fear and frustration set in and it may make you want to give up, but donít! You must be committed to the long term in order to take your neighborhood back!

The Beat Health Unit will continue its relentless effort in abating drug nuisance properties in Modesto. If you suspect drug activity occurring in your neighborhood, please contact the police departmentís drug hotline at 571-DRUG (3784). Beat Health will work with you to close a drug property in your neighborhood. For more information on the Beat Health program, please contact 572-9609, 572-9607 or 342-6114.

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