Mayor Fulop Establishes New Progressive and Proactive Division to Address Quality of Life Issues
Quality of Life Enforcement 100% Guided by Residents’ Concerns
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announces the establishment of a new Division of Quality of Life (“QOL”) within the Department of Public Safety, as approved by the City Council this week. The division’s creation aligns with recent calls for more progressive approaches to enforcement by confronting challenging quality of life issues with a team of code enforcement rather than a traditional police emergency response.
Although the division will oversee the enforcement of local ordinances, it will be guided by a progressive approach of “education before enforcement” to proactively encourage compliance rather than reactively respond to violations. Inspectors will lead with conversation, with court summonses as a last resort.
“This falls in line with conversations taking place nationwide surrounding enforcement, by using civilian inspectors and giving them more tools to address quality of life enforcement rather than defaulting to traditional police officer response,” said Mayor Fulop. “We want to give these violators the opportunity to correct the issues before bringing them to court, that way we can get more positive results for the residents and everyone is happier in the end.”
The division will be guided by community engagement led by the Resident Response Center, which is one of three offices coming under the division, along with the Office of the Municipal Prosecutor and the newly formed Office of Code Compliance. The division also reduces redundancies by consolidating several existing code enforcement offices into a single office with inspectors cross-trained on all local ordinances. Utilizing existing city resources will expand evening, overnight, and weekend code enforcement responses at no additional cost.
The creation of this new division codifies the best practices that were implemented by Mayor Fulop’s Quality of Life Taskforce, which has operated under the Office of the Municipal Prosecutor since early 2019. The taskforce has successfully coordinated the efforts of several city enforcement agencies and has had notable success in prosecuting absentee landlords, inattentive property owners, local polluters, negligent businesses, and other public nuisances.
“With this new division, we will streamline the city’s enforcement even further, and do it with a progressive emphasis on community engagement, problem-solving, and compliance through education,” said Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut, who will oversee the Division of Quality of Life. “Over the last 17 months, the taskforce force has stood up for our most vulnerable residents by protecting them from abusive landlords, negligent businesses, and other public nuisances. This division will continue that momentum.”
“All residents deserve safe, clean streets and neighborhoods to call home, which is why we are expanding our efforts to efficiently address all issues within the community at any hour of the day or night,” concluded Public Safety Director James Shea. “Oftentimes, residents were hesitant to call the JCPD for a non-emergency issue, but now we have one centralized resource they can count on to address all quality of life concerns.”
All complaints can be reported to the QOL Division by contacting the Resident Response Center at 201-547-4900 or by downloading the SeeClixFix or Word on the Street (W.O.T.S.) mobile apps.
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