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Rental properties present a unique challenge for law enforcement. The typical “Neighborhood Watch” approach to residents in single family homes is not easily adapted to rental communities. In single family homes, owners generally have a large cash investment in the purchase of their home. Rising crime rates can lead to safety issues, lower property values, and a decreased quality of life. This motivates owners to be more concerned about crime in their neighborhoods and become pro-active community members.
In rental properties, the communities tend to be much more transient. Most often, residents sign a seven-month or a twelve-month lease for a rental property. This enables an occupant to move easily if they feel crime has reached an intolerable level. It is easier to move away from crime than to confront it.
The Police Department sought a new direction in addressing crime in multi-family rental properties. The Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program was developed to help reduce crime in rental properties.
The program’s design includes a certification process, signage similar to those used for neighborhood crime watch, certificates, and advertising privileges.
The Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program is a unique, three-phase certification program for rental properties of all sizes. The first phase requires the completion of a four-hour training program. The training program covers everything from the screening process, to crime prevention and Crime Prevention Through Envirinmental Design.
Property owners, managers (must attend), leasing staff, maintenance personnel and others on the management team should attend the entire 4-hour training program. Community service officers from the police department may also attend the training in order to establish a rapport with managers of rental properties.
After completion of the four-hour training program, each participant will receive a certificate from the police department.
Prospective residents should be informed as soon as possible that their property management is working with the police department to keep the community safe.
Additionally, we ask managers to begin using the program's lease addendum. This addendum to the lease cites specific actions that will be taken by management if a resident, or someone under the resident’s control, is involved in illegal or dangerous activity on or near the rental property.
In the second phase of the program, a Crime Prevention Officer will conduct a security inspection of the community to assess physical security. Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (C.P.T.E.D.) principles are used to incorporate safety into the existing environment. If the property meets the department’s requirements, a second certificate in the name of the apartment community will be issued.
This certificate will certify that the property has met the minimum security requirements of the Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program.
Disclaimer: No recommendation can positively ensure or guarantee a crime free environment. The purpose of this security assessment is to provide security recommendations. The security report is advisory and is not intended to identify all security weaknesses or to warrant the adequacy of all present and future security measures whether or not recommended.
In the third and final phase of the program, a Crime Prevention Officer will conduct a crime prevention meeting for residents of the community. Here, he/she will provide information about personal safety, general crime prevention or any crime prevention topic that may be relevent at the time of the meeting.
This meeting will also give the officer the opportunity to explain the Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program to the residents of the community.
At the conclusion of this meeting the apartment community will receive a third certificate indcating they have completed all 3 phases of the program. This certificate is the only certificate that has an expiration date. It must be renewed each year after the initial crime prevention resident meeting
After completing all 3 phases, management can post the Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program signs on the property. It is recommended that one sign be posted at each entrance to the property where prospective residents will see them.
An added incentive to reach full certification is the use of the Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program logo in all appropriate advertisements, company letterheads, and business cards and associated paperwork.