SIOUX CENTER—A new city position was created to help keep Sioux Center clean, safe and code compliance: that of assistant code compliance officer.
Sioux Center Police Department patrol officer Jaymie Harper started work in the part-time position in July.
According to Harper, the position was made to help Sioux Center city building department official Josh Dorhout with following up on and enforcing code violations, addressing such issues as basic property maintenance, weeds and lawn maintenance and storing items such as dilapidated vehicles.
“I can give these people a week or two weeks to remove or fix the problem and go back in a week or two to make sure that it was done,” Harper said.
The new position was also a way to respond to feedback garnered from a community survey sent out in 2018.
“That showed the public valued code compliance in the community,” Harper said. “Whether they need their gutters fixed or if they need their yard mowed, we want to keep these properties looking pristine because our town is beautiful and we want to keep it that way.”
“Jaymie has hit the ground running and is working well with local property owners on making some good changes,” Dorhout said.
Having worked with Dorhout before on code violations while on the job as an officer, Harper said taking on the new work has been easy enough. He still works full time as a patrol officer, but the duties of each job are strictly divided, with Harper only to handle work corresponding to the job he’s performing at the time.
“When I’m working the police department schedule, I do police department things,” Harper said. “When I was hired for this, they said they wanted to keep these two things separate. That was one thing the city stressed.”
Doing this in addition to his law enforcement duties adds a bit of variety to his day, he said.
“That’s what’s fun with this,” Harper said. “I get to go out and knock on people’s doors and talk to them and see how we can resolve the problem. Maybe they got weeds around their house or they need their grass mowed. Some of these people, I’ve found out because of their health or they don’t have time.”
In such cases, he’s willing to work with the people involved to get the situation resolved eventually.
His work helps keep Sioux Center not only cleaner but also safer.
“I just went to a house this morning, and they have a tree there. Had to say, if you can, let’s trim this tree up,” he said. “If it’s hard for me to back out of the driveway and see properly and it was covering up part of the sidewalk and blocking your vision” then it needs to be taken care of.
Information on city code is available online at the city website: www.siouxcenter.org/82/Codes-Zoning-Information.
For additional information regarding codes, Dorhout can be reached at 722-0761.