Dubuque Police to notify landlords of police calls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Police to notify landlords of police calls

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Recent crime could change the relationship between landlords and police in the Tri-states. Dubuque police say 20-year-old Geromey Gilliand was shot in the back yesterday. He's in stable condition. Police say they know the shooter, but no charges have been filed.

The shooting may have stemmed from an assault this weekend. Police were called to Gilliand's apartment Saturday for reports of an assault. Two days later he was shot. Landlords are now being notified of incidents like Saturday's.

Jerry Maro has 23 rental properties in Dubuque. He's been a landlord for 40 years.

"Crime in Dubuque over the last couple of years has escalated. And the crime is becoming more severe. We've had robberies we've had murders, we've had something's going on that Dubuque isn't used to," said Maro.

As current president of the Dubuque Landlord Association. He is working to help combat that increased crime.

"If the landlord does not know of a problem, even if it's something like domestic abuse. Then we can not address the issue," said Maro.

He says communication is key. Which is why 18 months ago the Dubuque Police Department also started looking at ways to combat crime. Looking to reduce crime in rental properties. They were notifying landlords of major criminal activity on their properties.

"Manufacture of drugs or major assault or something like that on their property. Or a loud party, other than that they weren't being notified," said Captain Russ Stecklein.

But simple notification of major crimes wasn't solving the problem. And with the help of computers they found a solution. If police are called to a landlord's property a computer generated letter cross references 40 different "quality of life" police calls and notifies the landlord.

"Once that landlord is notified of this they typically take action. Either the rules are changed or they may go as for as to evict a problem tenant," said Stecklein.

The letter explains the location, date and type of call, case number and officer who responded to the call. Stating: "the purpose of this letter is to advise you of a police call for service to the above address for which the city of Dubuque's records list you as the contact person."

Though very generic, the letter gives landlords the opportunity to follow up with both police and tenants. And for landlords like Maro it's just one more way to work together. And help combat crime in Dubuque.

"Our goal is to have all landlords participate in this program, work with the city, work with the police department and help make our city safer for all residents," said Maro.

In addition to this new plan. The Dubuque Landlord Association works with landlords to make background checks a requirement for all tenants. Those checks are free through the Dubuque Police Department.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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