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Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 -- 12:22 PM

The owners of properties that become too familiar to cops in Marshfield might end up paying for the police visits under an ordinance pushed by Police Chief Joe Stroik.

If approved by the City Council, property owners could be charged for the police costs associated with numerous trips to the same ?problem residences?.

"If we get information and we have to respond, not only does the person face criminal charges or other ordinance charges, they'll also have to reimburse the police department for the cost of responding," Stroik explains.

Under the ordinance, there would be zero-tolerance for drug-related calls; otherwise, fees would be assessed against the property owner if the police are called to the same residence more than three times in six months or four times in 365 days, Stroik says.

The principle is this: law-abiding citizens shouldn?t have to pay for habitual violators.

The idea was hatched as Marshfield Police became frustrated by the inaction of a landlord at a property that was a known drug house.

"He basically said 'I really don't care'," Stroik remembers. "We had no mechanism to charge him for our services. This ordinance would provide for that."

"He's failing to do what he's supposed to do."

Stroik says the fee would be a minimum of $45, which is the Police Department?s charge back fee for an hour of service.

The ordinance still requires one more reading and passage at a City Council meeting.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.