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April 26, 2011 > Community takes a stand against crime

Community takes a stand against crime

By Meenu Gupta

Getting involved in the Crime Free Program is a win-win situation for all; residents have a safer place to live, management attracts quality residents and police receives fewer calls. Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) program is for property owners, managers, assistant managers, leasing agents, office staff, maintenance staff and all those who work with housing.

Fremont PD adopted the program in April 2008 as an effort to rid rental-housing communities of crime, drugs and gangs. "Currently we have 33 fully certified properties and we have got an additional 53 properties that are involved in the program, most of them being in the inspection phase," said Officer Kim MacDonald, Crime Free Coordinator, Fremont PD.

The program includes three phases: Phase I is an eight-hour management training course taught by the police (Green certificate); Phase II is a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) survey administered by the police (Red certificate); and Phase III is community awareness training, held as a social event, in which management of rental-housing property and police teach crime prevention to the residents (Blue certificate). "Phase I Manager meetings are open for anyone in the public to attend," said MacDonald.

There is no charge for the three phases and they need not be completed in any particular order. Once all three phases have been successfully completed, a gold certificate is issued and with it, the right to post a CFMH program sign owned by the City, as well as advertising membership within the CFMH program in the media. "Second and third phase require crime prevention strategies that include lighting the area, removing graffiti, trimming shrubs, maintaining visible addresses for police to locate easily, special locks on doors and double locks on windows," said MacDonald who works tirelessly in cooperation with the apartments, community staff and managers towards a safer neighborhood. Officer MacDonald attends safety social [gatherings] in case a community is facing burglaries and thefts. Crime prevention strategies include lighting the area, removing graffiti, trimming shrubs, maintaining visible addresses for police to locate easily, special locks on doors and double locks on windows.

"Even with the dwindling economy, the nice thing is that the program is still intact, we're still working very closely with apartments, condominiums and communities. I invite all property owners to attend the training," said MacDonald. Crime Free has established programs beyond Multi-Housing. Programs for mobile housing, hotel and motel, RV parks, lifestyles, business, self storage and rental housing are also available. There's a hotel motel program that specifically deals with hotels and motels in the City, we are in the very beginning phase of this program. It is entirely voluntary, there is no fee ordinance or any requirement for anyone to participate, so all the communities involved are on a voluntary basis," said MacDonald.

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