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Code Enforcement Division Earns Accreditation from American Association of Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement Division Earns Accreditation from American Association of Code Enforcement

February 1, 2024

The City of Cedar Rapids Building Services DepartmentCode Enforcement Division has proudly achieved agency accreditation from the American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE), making it only the ninth such top-tier agency in the nation to attain the distinction.

The Code Enforcement division met and exceeded 50 scoring standards in the following categories: Agency Administration, Staff and Professional Development, Enforcement and Case Management, Administrative and Legal Remedies, and Other Programs and Responsibilities — tying for the top score in the United States among accredited agencies, earning a Four-Star Accreditation.

The City of Cedar Rapids now has an accredited Fire Department, Police Department, Parks & Recreation Department, Public Works Department, Library, and Building Services Department-Code Enforcement Division.

“Six Departments within a municipal government to have earned accredited agency status is a rare feat,” said Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz. “Accreditation serves as a valuable resource for our Departments and the entire City in delivering the highest standard of professional and accountable services to our community. This accomplishment reflects the dedication and commitment of our skilled staff to improve the quality of life in Cedar Rapids and serve our residents.”

The Code Enforcement Division staff, comprised of five code enforcement officers, seven rental housing inspectors, an administrative assistant, and a code enforcement manager, began the accreditation process in early 2023. The Division created a code enforcement policy and procedure manual, a code of ethics and code of conduct, and a field training manual to promote equitable code enforcement.  All code enforcement staff were certified by the International Code Council in the International Property Maintenance Code, which is the foundation on which the City’s Housing and Property Maintenance Code was established.

“Accreditation attests to our Code Enforcement division's commitment to delivering excellent services for Cedar Rapids,” said Kevin Ciabatti, Building Services Director for the City of Cedar Rapids. “A Four-Star rating from the American Association of Code Enforcement recognizes our staff's hard work and adherence to industry standards. It also reflects our ongoing efforts to safeguard the community's health, safety, and welfare. I am proud to work alongside such talented colleagues who contribute daily to improve our community.”

During the accreditation process, the City team developed 51 new policies and procedures, ranging from obtaining consent and securing a warrant, to standardization of photographic evidence, creating administrative citations, and investigation of unregistered rental properties.

“This process demonstrated the organizational health of our City government,” said Greg Buelow, Code Enforcement Manager for the City of Cedar Rapids. “We had outstanding support from numerous City Departments in making our successful accreditation application. Accreditation is about the process and effecting change, enhancing professionalism, and improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness. This was a significant team-building exercise and learning experience that will position the Code Enforcement Division to excel over the next several years.”

According to Scott Neumeyer, Chairperson of the AACE Accreditation Committee, “The accreditation application submitted by the City of Cedar Rapids was well put together and made it clear the Code Enforcement Division is a healthy organization that has demonstrated a level of accountability that should bolster public trust.”

Neumeyer said it was clear Cedar Rapids provided, “a solid framework of standard operating procedures and best practices to manage and support quality services not only to the citizens of Cedar Rapids, but agency staff as well.”

“The information provided in the accreditation submission supported the objective that the City of Cedar Rapids has implemented industry best practices. Based on your accreditation and score, AACE considers the City of Cedar Rapids to be a benchmark for other Code Compliance Divisions. We commend your department for your commitment to elevating the code enforcement profession and being a leader in our field that all code agencies should strive for!” said Neumeyer.

The American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE) is a national nonprofit association representing the profession of code enforcement. Since its inception, AACE has become the premier association fostering code compliance through its certification program, education, training, and enforcement. AACE is the internationally recognized leader in the profession of code enforcement and started the agency accreditation program in 2017.

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