Cleaning up Richmond

Sep. 30, 2014 / By

Photo Essay, David Meza

David Batiste says he loves the job he describes as “a little dangerous” and “never the same routine.”

Baptiste is an equipment operator with Richmond’s Code Enforcement Abatement crew.

On this day, he is helping demolish a burned down house at 24th and Maricopa Ave. He said this home has been a source of blight, squatters and fires.

This is the third home demolition this year in Richmond, with plans for several more. Recently, the city has seen an increase in demolitions of blighted, un-salvageable properties that pose a public safety hazard. These homes can be havens for squatters, drug addicts or gangs members, according to Code Enforcement officials.

For Batiste and the rest of the crew, it’s just another day doing the huge job of cleaning the city of Richmond.

The Code Enforcement Unit is comprised of three groups: Code Enforcement, the Abatement Crew and Parking Enforcement. The team of almost 30 deals with everything from weed height on private property, demolishing dilapidated vacant homes, picking up garbage dumped throughout town, giving out parking citations and everything in between.


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