Crime-Free Housing Ordinance In Naperville; Not So Fast

The City of Naperville is inching closer and closer to approving an ordinance for Crime-Free Multi-Housing. Sounds great doesn’t it. Who could possibly be against crime-free housing? It sounds like Utopia where everybody would want to live, similar to the great state of Iowa, where it only rains at night, you don’t need to lock your doors, all the men are strong, all the women are beautiful, and all the kids are above average.

So what’s not to like about a Crime-Free Housing Ordinance? The answer is absolutely nothing if it is used in the spirit of the law in which it was intended. For most communities it is a wonderfully successful program. Naperville has proven not to be one of those communities. Naperville city officials have broken trust with their residents. We’ll get into that in a moment.

Crime-Free Multi-Housing is a program first conceived and implemented by the Mesa, Arizona Police Department in 1992. It is designed as a partnership between property owners and managers, residents, and law enforcement to reduce crime and nuisance activity.

In communities where it’s done right, such as Hanover Park, it works like a fine-tuned machine. In other communities such as Palatine, the program and results have struggled, with residents and property owners caught in the middle.

Some of the key problems with Crime-Free Rental Housing include:

  • Reducing the supply of rental housing
  • Harming crime victims
  • Harming innocent tenants and household members
  • Misusing arrests and other criminal information
  • Using inappropriate enforcement officials
  • Exposing tenants and landlords to enforcement errors
  • Overreaching in enforcement authority and discretion

The Cost of Being ‘Crime Free’: Legal and Practical Consequences of Crime Free Rental Housing and Nuisance Property Ordinances

It’s this last bullet point, where Naperville city officials have broken trust with residents.

Example 1:

Smart Meters also sounded like a great idea. The City of Naperville used every devious method they could to forcefully install Smart Meters on the homes of residents who didn’t want them. Now the City of Naperville finds itself as a defendant in court, in which they (us) will pay dearly for their transgressions including:

  • False Arrest
  • Excessive Force
  • Equal Protection Class Of One Claim
  • First Amendment Retaliation Claim
  • Illinois Malicious Prosecution Claim

Not one Naperville city official made any effort to stop the prosecution and persecution of the offended resident Kim Bendis. The mayor didn’t stop it, the city council didn’t stop it, the city manager, Doug Krieger, didn’t stop it, the police chief didn’t stop it, and the Naperville city attorney didn’t stop it. They all allowed the travesty to continue. Overreaching in enforcement authority and discretion? Absolutely.

Examples 2 and 3

Watch and listen as Naperville couincilman Paul Hinterlong hatches a form of entrapment for Uber (share-ride) and Police Manager Bob Marshall is all too willing join the charade with ‘guns a blazing’ and ‘take down’ Uber though Uber is not violating any law or ordinance. Two more classic examples of overreaching in enforcement authority and discretion.

So here is councilman Hinterlong (likely to be re-elected) conspiring with the police manager during a council meeting to ‘take down’ a legitimate business based on a whim. One can only imagine what types of schemes are hatched in the inky shadows of city hall when cameras aren’t running.

Naperville city officials have broken trust with residents, and as such can not be trusted to fairly enforce a Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program in Naperville.

Show 4 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Sounds like a perfect shelter-in-place, fascist run, anti-American and unconstitutional warlordship run by a police chief. Good luck with that but I would suggest buying a gun and protecting yourself versus giving all you liberties.

  2. L Flanagan

    As an owner occupant in a neighborhood with approximately 30% rental property, I can tell you that I do support some further control over rental property. While I don’t want good landlords to be punished with additional restrictions, I do think that people who rent property should have to be aware of our codes and ordinances and also should have to communicate those codes and ordinances to their tenants. This action alone should help to alleviate some of the issues that come up with rental property, such as lack of lawn maintenance or parking issues. Additionally, landlords should have to maintain the property in such a way that it does not negatively impact the neighborhood and home values.

    Mentioned above as a negative impact is the reduction of rental housing. I would just like to say on that point that if you rent property, do so responsibly. Naperville provides opportunities to people who rent here, such as excellent schools. I don’t mind people renting. But, I don’t want to live near a dump or have rental homes that are clearly over occupied with vehicles blocking up the street day and night because there are more people than adequate parking. I don’t want to see people parking on the lawn and trash all over. If other owner-occupants don’t care about this issue, they probably don’t live near rentals.

  3. Councilman Joe McElroy

    Although my own opinion is closer to Ms. Flanagan’s than it is to the Watchdog’s, kudos to him for providing some good research info.

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