Toledo inspectors, police partner to fight blight

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police in Toledo are partnering with inspectors to try to tackle the large number of blighted properties in the city.

The effort that began Wednesday will put inspectors and officers together to periodically patrol together. The aim is to identify blighted conditions and property-maintenance issues that can translate into criminal activity — such as when people strip copper from vacant buildings.

The Blade newspaper ( ) reports that it's part of Mayor D. Michael Collins' "T-Town Initiative" to fight blight.

The city also plans an accelerated demolition project. Some 550 structures are to be torn down, starting in September or October.

Collins has blamed the municipal housing court for delays cleaning up troubled properties, but a municipal court judge has denied it.