(April 21, 2017) - "Ask CCPD" #14 is going to be something a little different....a tasty assortment of inquiries, a grab bag of great questions. (OK, and a cleaning out of the archives of older questions!) Our first tidbit comes from David:

"Can you advise if the Cape Coral Police Department keeps crime statistics by area, specifically by condo complex or condo address?"

David, we do keep track of statistics and call history based on location. This allows us to target problem areas and common crime trends, and dedicate resources to fixing these problems. Officers are able to view call history for an address before they respond, to get a better idea of what they are walking into and whether there have ever been incidents of note before. A specific apartment or condo number within a complex is a little bit more complicated, as one building will share the same main address and shows in the system this way, necessitating a deeper search to find a specific unit. We also have an interactive Crime Map right here on the website that lets you search by area and by crime type. You can also receive realtime alerts to your smartphone through the Ping4alerts! app, so you'll know when something big goes down as it happens. You can visit this page for more information on this free app.

"Can I report something online?"  ~Angie

Yes and no, Angie. It depends what you'd like to report. If you have a request for additional traffic or marine patrol due to traffic complaints, a compliment or complaint about the agency or a member, or you'd like to submit a tip about something, all of that can be done on our website. If you want to report a specific crime or incident, you would need to contact us at (239) 574-3223 or 911, as we are not set up or staffed to receive calls for service via the website or via any of our social media sites.

This one comes from Iggy (probably the coolest name we've ever had on Ask CCPD):

"Is it illegal for a car to park off the end of my driveway?"

Iggy, if by "off" you mean "in front of", this is indeed illegal. Florida State Statute 316.1945(1b) prohibits standing or parking a vehicle, occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or drop off passengers, in front of a public or private driveway, among other places. You can read the parking statute here. 

In another traffic-related question, Barbara asks:

"When in a city owned parking lot that has no stop or right of way signs and no bands on the roadway how is right of way determined? For example, an access road heading south into a parking lot has no stop sign, nor does the parking lot traffic which runs east and west. Thanks for your time and your service to our community."

This can be a tricky one, Barbara. An intersection with no stop signs at all should be treated as though it is a 4-way stop. Florida law does not grant anyone right-of-way, but rather identifies who should yield it. You must yield to a car already in the intersection, or yield to the vehicle on the right if you arrive at the intersection at the same time. It's similar to when a traffic light goes out due to power loss; that intersection becomes a 4-way stop sign by default until the traffic signal is back in operation. An abundance of caution, good observation skills and defensive driving tactics will serve you best in any of these situation.

Lastly we have Jason:

"I had a guy do work on my pool. He did a shoddy job, with many issues. The guy responded to me and said he would take a look. I asked several times when, so a date could be set. He waited for me to go to work today, and sent me an email claiming a video had been taken on my property.
My question is, since I wanted to be there, and he refused to respond with a time, I would not have authorized him to be at my home or a video taken at all. He has, in my estimation, trespassed and violated my rights of property. I want to contact police in the matter, and have him charged. What should I do?"

Jason, while this sounds like a very inconsiderate thing to do, as well as being full of poor business practices, there doesn't appear to be a crime of any kind. The videotaping is legal as long as it is in a publicly viewable area with no expectation of privacy. You could be videotaped out in your yard, but not surreptitiously through your bedroom window.

As for entering onto your property, this is not immediately illegal. Could be creepy, impolite, alarming....but is there a crime provided they haven't damaged anything, threatened anyone, etc? As the homeowner, you can call law enforcement out. We would issue the person a trespass warning that they sign and receive a copy of, with the understanding that if they return after warning, they are now subject to arrest. If you've ever seen the signs at convenience stores that say "Cape Coral Police Officers are authorized to trespass...", this is a standing order of what I just described. A warning must be given before trespassing is criminal. Now, if he enters onto your property to commit a crime of any kind while on the property, this becomes burglary in addition to whatever crime was committed, whether theft, criminal mischief, or anything else. 

And there we are, archives cleaned out. I'm gonna need some more questions from all of you, so send them in, please! You can submit questions on our website on the Ask CCPD page, or message them to us on one of of the many platforms in our mixed medley of social media potpourri. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author: 

PHOTO:  Corporal Phil Mullen, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer.  (Photo Courtesy of Cape Coral Police Department)

PHOTO:  Corporal Phil Mullen, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer.  (Photo Courtesy of Cape Coral Police Department)

Corporal Philip Mullen is a nine year law enforcement veteran assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police and serves as Assistant Public Affairs Officer for the Cape Coral Police Department.

For the last 9 years, Corporal Mullen served as a Patrol Officer in our Patrol Bureau, and as a Field Training Officer, preparing new recruits for the rigors of police work over the past 5 years. Corporal Mullen is a member of the Cape Coral Police Department Honor Guard and has represented the Cape Coral Police Department across the United States.  He is a recipient of two Lifesaving Awards and the department's highest honor, the Medal of Honor. Phil holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Administration from Edison State College.

CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341