DEL NORTE — The Del Norte Police Department is welcomed a new ordinance officer to the team and will be working closely with the Town of Del Norte to enforce local ordinances throughout town. Nineah Martinez grew up in the area and is eager to help keep Del Norte safe and clean.
Over the past few months, Martinez has been working with residents to help clean up some of the problem areas throughout town.
“I decided to apply for the position for a lot of different reason but the main one was because I wanted the chance to help the community. I completed some training with the department, learning the radio and codes as well as the town ordinances and have been working really hard to bring everyone up to compliance,” said Martinez.
Del Norte Police Chief Frank Archuleta stated the department was happy to find Martinez when they did and that she has helped alleviate some of the work load they have been trying to complete for some time.
“We have never had an ordinance officer as far as I know and now that we have one, we are able to get caught up on some of the work that has been needing to be resolved,” Archuleta said.
Martinez uses most of her time working with residential areas that need to be cleaned up in order to ensure the health and safety of the community. She also can close unsafe or abandoned structures and buildings in Del Norte which helps eliminate other concerns that include unwanted squatters.
“We can board up buildings and lock them off from unwanted entry from squatters or even local children who get curious about some of the abandoned buildings in town. It all comes down to public safety,” Martinez said.
So far, Martinez has received a positive response from a majority of the community and hopes to gain trust from everyone she works with.
“Usually when a citation has been issued and people comply, they have been thankful for the most part. A lot of people thank me when the job is done and are grateful that they were able to resolve the issue without further repercussions,” Martinez said.
Martinez is mainly concerned about clutter in yards, broken down vehicles, non-working appliances and basic trash within yards and property.
“We just want to help alleviate the clutter around town and help people find a solution without incident, but we will enforce the law if we need to,” Martinez said.
Martinez is the first step in a line of possible consequences that can occur when a property owner does not comply with orders to bring properties up to regulation per city ordinances. If an order from Martinez is ignored it can entail fines, with additional charges per day after a court appearance.
“It can turn into a process if people don’t comply, but we are willing to work with anyone who is showing that they are trying in any case,” Martinez said.
There will be a free town cleanup day on April 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dumpsters will be available at the old Coop building located at Second and Cherry streets. Patrons who wish to participate need to bring proof of residency and an I.D. All materials will be accepted, minus hazardous materials, paint, flammable materials, and other dangerous materials. For more information, contact the Town of Del Norte at 719-657-2708.