The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

April 29, 2013

New Crime Free program changing atmosphere of city apt. complexes

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Norman’s Crime Free multi-housing coordinator is Master Police Officer Teddy Wilson, who went through a 24-hour training session to become a program instructor. When the NPD started considering implementing it, they approached several apartment managers.

“Right now, the idea is to try it on a voluntary basis,” Easley said.

He said management from 13 complexes attended the first phase that’s an eight-hour class taught by the NPD. The class includes instruction on crime prevention theory; benefits of resident screening; lease agreements and eviction issues; prevention of gangs, drug activity and other activity; and working smarter with police, fire and life safety training. A 100-page manual is supplied to participants.

The second phase of Crime Free is the NPD’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Survey, or CPTED, of participating complexes. The police evaluate minimum door, window and lock standards and exterior lighting and landscape maintenance standards.

“We don’t take their word for it, we go and look,” Easley said.

Several of the environmental actions are easy, like trimming shrubs and trees up from the ground to eliminate possible hiding places. Others, like improving lighting or strengthening door jams, require an investment on management’s part.

Community awareness is the goal of the third phase, with an annual cookout or other social outreach to residents to educate them about Crime Free with property management and police participation.

When the apartment management has completed all three phases, they are allowed to display the Crime Free logo and signage on properties.

Easley said while several apartment complexes are going through the process, none are certified yet, although some are getting close, including Vicksburg Village, Turnberry Apartments and Presidential Gardens.

Richmond said when they first began implementing the Crime Free program, about half of her Vicksburg Village tenants were excited and half were upset.

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