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The Haines City Police Department’s Code Compliance Unit has a tough job, but they go above and beyond to make sure the city remains beautiful.
Code Compliance is the prevention, detection, investigation and enforcement of violations of statutes or ordinances regulating public health, safety, and welfare, business activities, building standards, and land-use.
The mission statement of the unit is “To promote the health, safety and welfare of the city residents by mitigating physical signs of urban blight and social disorder through the enforcement of the city codes of Haines City.”
The Code Compliance unit has been part of the Police Department since 2014. The unit is overseen by Capt. Gabriel Garcia.
Here’s a look at Haines City’s unsung heroes who make up the Code Compliance Unit:
Steve Shifley, Code Compliance Supervisor
A city employee for 13 years and supervisor over Code Compliance for 12 years, Steve Shifley has an extensive history in public safety. An auxiliary police officer for 10 years and a fire captain and paramedic for 20 years in Ohio, Shifley was convinced by his wife Sarah to move to Florida.
A certified Ohio Fire Executive and a past two-time president of the Polk Association of Code Enforcement, Shifley enjoys seeing blighted areas throughout the city become vibrant.
When he’s not at work, Shifley enjoys spending time with his family, riding his motorcycle and Cleveland sports. He is a former season ticket holder for both the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians. Steve and Sarah have been married for 20 years.
Michelle Escribano, Code Compliance Specialist
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Michelle Escribano has worked for the city since March 2013 and full-time since October of that year. Escribano believes she was called by God to serve in her current capacity. Struggling to find work at the time, she was referred by a friend and put in her application on the deadline to apply.
Escribano is the first person you talk to when calling Code Compliance. She is responsible for processing all notices and required paperwork to successfully bring a property into compliance. In addition, she is also the Clerk for the Special Magistrate and works as a red light clerk. Escribano enjoys being able to help people, which she says coincides with her Christian faith. Her pet peeve is when people think they know everything.
A fan of the Boston Red Sox, Escribano earned an associate’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico’s Cayey campus in 1997. She and her high school sweetheart, Alberto, have been married for nearly 25 years. They have two children – Yashira, 14, and Alberto Jr., 12.
Jerome Ivey, Code Compliance Officer
A native of Miami, Jerome Ivey has been a member of the Haines City Police Department’s Code Compliance unit for almost two years. A former investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families, Ivey came to Haines City for a change. He enjoys the many challenges and working with people in the community.
A licensed Stormwater Management Inspector, Jerome earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Thomas University in 2012. He’s currently in the process of working on a second bachelor’s in computer engineering.
The son of a pastor and a fan of the NBA’s Miami Heat, Ivey is collector of coins, sports cards and comic cards. Jerome also has quite the signing voice as he grew up in the church choir.
David Jimenez, Code Compliance Officer
The unit’s most seasoned Code Compliance Officer, David Jimenez has spent the last six years with the Haines City Police Department working in code. Jimenez is certified in Fundamentals in Code Enforcement, Administrative Aspects of Code Enforcement and Legal Issues of Code Enforcement.
He’s also licensed as a Stormwater Management Inspector and Property Maintenance Inspector. A native of Miami, David came to work in Haines City after being referred by a friend. A fan or music and DC and Marvel Comics, David enjoys being able to educate residents on the city code.
Jimenez also collects video game systems and games – from newer systems to old school systems like Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Also a fan of the Miami Heat, David is a husband to Pricilla. The two have been married for eight years.
Grace Malpartida, Code Compliance Officer
The newest member of the Haines City Police Department’s Code Compliance unit, Grace Malpartida has been a member of the Haines City Police Department since January 2019. Malpartida was the former property and evidence technician, but has worked in Code Compliance since January.
Born in New Jersey to Peruvian parents, Grace’s family moved to Florida after an economic downturn following the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. In 2018, Malpartida earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Polk State College.
Malpartida says she enjoys seeing the growth throughout Haines City. An avid gamer, Grace also has some musical talent. She plays the piano. In high school, she performed in recitals.