by: Katherina Yancy
To reduce crime, the Jacksonville Police Department has adopted the international program Crime Free Multi-Housing, and partnered with apartment managers in the city.
Police are usually called after there is a crime. This way, by working with apartment managers in the city, they approach mutual problems. The first Crime Free Multi-Housing class is in the books, with two more phases to go.
Willow Bend apartment staff signed on to become certified in the crime free program. LaRhona Collins says it is not just for those with crime and tenant problems, “It will let people know when they come in to fill out an application that hey, this apartment complex is crime free.”
Lt. Brett Hibbs with the Jacksonville Police Department is the instructor. About 20 apartment managers attended the first class. “The first phase is an 8-hour class. We talk about a multitude of things such as leases, screening, crime prevention methods and strengthening security.”
The second phase is for the property itself to become certified. It must meet certain standards like outdoor lighting, landscape and building maintenance; install cameras, door peepholes and deadbolt locks. Lt. Hibbs adds, “When crime picks up, the good tenants start leaving and that is a big concern to them.”
The third phase is a “safety social”, neighbors, staff and police will gather for a block party. Lt. Hibbs explains, “Our goal is to reduce the crime at these apartment complexes where they are having problems and to make a better neighborhood for everyone who lives here, especially the good tenants.”
LaRhonda Collins adds, “We are excited to be the first crime free class for Jacksonville. We are just trying to be a step ahead.”
It is free, but depending on the list of upgrades and the apartment budget, it can take weeks to a year to complete the property certification. Once the staff and property are certified, they will get a sign to place on the property.
This article was written by Katherina Yancy and originally published on katv