As innovative as I thought I was with the invention of the Crime Free Zone, I was not the first. Incredible as it may seem, I have found a municipal ordinance in Lancaster, California (That is about 40 miles north of Los Angeles), written in 2003, that explains how to create a Crime Free Zone in their city. The hard working folks there created Chapter 9.32 of their code of ordinances precisely to establish crime free zones. According to the ordinance, the city council has the power to establish the zone by defining its boundaries, announcing it and putting up signage announcing its existence. The procedure is summed up like this:
9.32.030 - Procedure for establishing a crime free zone.
- The occurrence of a disproportionately high number of arrests for the possession or distribution of illegal drug crimes against property and crimes against persons in the proposed crime free zone;
- Objective evidence or verifiable information that shows that illegal drugs are being sold and distributed within the proposed crime free zone; and
- Any other verifiable information from which the city council may ascertain whether the health and safety of residents who live in the proposed crime free zone are endangered by the purchase, sale, or use of illegal drugs or other illegal activity.
(Ord. 817 § 2 (part), 2003)
After that, it is simply a matter of putting up signs to let the good folks of Lancaster know the boundaries and you are all set! Maybe they will adopt my sign.