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Rep. Leland looks to give law enforcement added tool to close dangerous properties

Seeks law change to add history of violence as condition for court-ordered closure
January 30, 2015
Democrat Newsroom

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today announced that he will soon introduce legislation to help cities and local law enforcement officials shutter dangerous properties with a history of violence.

The need for a law change was brought to Rep. Leland’s attention by the Columbus City Attorney’s office, the Columbus Police Department and community activists, who are spearheading efforts to shut down nuisance properties in the Northland region of Columbus.

“This bill will give police officers and code enforcement officials across the State of Ohio one additional tool to fight crime,” said Rep. Leland. “No one should have to live in fear because of dangerous activity taking place next door. It will make our communities stronger and safer."

Current law doesn't allow for properties to be shuttered because of a pattern of violence—they must mainly have a history of prostitution or illegal drug or alcohol sales before the courts can take action.

Leland’s proposal would change the definition of “nuisance” in Ohio law to include places where violent offences occur.

The legislation is supported by the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police.