A code enforcement officer is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the laws and code regulations that affect the well-being of the general public. Safety and health are two of the main aspects of code enforcement that an officer will receive the bulk of her training in, but there are several other concerns relevant to the welfare of the public that this training will focus on.
Most municipal governments require a minimum of a high school education, although an associate degree in public safety and health, building procedures or criminal justice are an asset to anyone seeking employment in code enforcement.
Experience in a related field, especially where codes are a factor, is good training to become a code enforcement officer. An example of this would be working as a building code inspector. Other examples would be a zoning enforcement officer or a health inspector who monitors the activities of food establishments, such as food handling by kitchen staff.
Code Enforcement Factors
There are many jurisdictional functions that will fall under the job description of a code enforcement officer. The focus of the specific functions are affected by the type of jurisdiction that the officer works in. Large metropolitan areas will have more variations in general and will also be more intensive in certain aspects, such as safety violations in multiunit residential dwellings and health violations in restaurants.
Protecting the public will be a major focus of officer training in any jurisdiction. The scope of this function includes many aspects that are part of everyday life in a city. Building projects that pose a risk to public safety are part of the responsibility of a code enforcement officer, especially construction sites on heavily traveled streets. General building codes must be followed in any project, and construction work that intrudes on a public right of way will require more intense monitoring by the officer.
Other Expected Duties
Although code enforcement should be the focus of officer training, there are other aspects that may fall under the job duties of an officer. One of these aspects that is often emphasized is community relations. Many cities attempt to maintain and improve their relationship with the citizens of the community by promoting cooperation through educational programs. In many ways, this helps to bridge the gap that is often created by the necessity to enforce regulations that sometimes result in fines and fees being assessed on the public.
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