If you like drama or getting up in other people's business (c'mon, don’t be coy, you/we know who we are) then you're going to love what the city of Chula Vista has in store.They’re going to publish the addresses of drama kings and queens.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the council listened to a presentation by the City Attorney’s Office. The topic was the city’s Apartment Safety Project.My two big takeaways from the night:
1) I wouldn’t want to live in an apartment on the west side.
2) Despite closed doors, my business is not my own once the police get involved.
Over two years the police studied the number of calls they received from apartment complexes. The majority of those calls came from west Chula Vista. The department also determined that there were 40 problem complexes that merited special attention.
Most of the calls were related to domestic violence (though interestingly enough 70 percent of the calls did not involve physical abuse) while the others were for loud noises or other disturbing the peace issues.
In addition to working with apartment owners and managers in developing better property management skills, the police will also list online the addresses and unit numbers of problem tenants who receive a call for service. They’re calling it accountability.
I call it unsettling.
The department assured the council they won’t publish personal information. But they will, on a daily basis, make available the exact location where, for example, an officer had to respond to a boisterous party, a loud argument or unruly neighbors.
But it will only be on the west side. And it will only affect people who live in apartments. You know, the kind of people who most likely can’t afford to live in a house that affords them slightly greater privacy.
There are a number of reasons the city wants to publish the information. As I said, maybe the public shaming will instill a greater sense of accountability and eliminate negative behavior.
But the city also wants to provide a service to people from out of town or within the region who want to know if a particular neighborhood or apartment complex is a safe place to live.
That ought to do wonders for the west side’s image. I can almost see the Chamber of Commerce’s new slogan: Live, shop and play in Chula Vista—just don’t do it west of Interstate 805.
I’m not suggesting we pretend there aren’t problem apartment complexes.
But what’s the point in publishing unit numbers other than to draw public scrutiny while at the same time driving people away?