'Operation Clean Sweep' begins in Hopewell

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – If you have a junk or inoperable car parked in Hopewell, watch out. Police and volunteers are now canvassing the city to bring you into compliance.

The city point area is the first section of the city being canvassed and it didn't take long to find violators.

"What's wrong with this vehicle is the inspection sticker expired in 2008. It has no state registration at all. Therefore, it's out of compliance with the city," said officer John Irons.

The car is tagged. Notification is left for the owner instructing him or her about the problem.

"They'll be issued a 10 day notice. The owner of the property or car has the right to have it towed, they can get it fixed so its running or they cover it with a fitted cover," said Irons.

If owners don't comply they can be taken to court and face a daily fine until the problem is fixed.

The effort is part of a new police program called Operation Clean Sweep. The goal is to reduce the fear of crime by improving quality of life issues, eliminate the appearance of blight, and to spruce up the city.

"Citizens take pride in our city looks and we intend to help that effort," said volunteer Susan Temple.

Police say the program is necessary because inoperable vehicles are a growing concern.

"It's a fairly big problem here in the city," said Irons.

Police and volunteers will canvass neighborhoods monthly until all areas of the city are reached. Then, the process will repeat itself.

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.