MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Communities built to reduce crime, drugs, and gangs are setting the bar high in Murfreesboro.
The police department has certified College Center, College Point and University Center as crime free apartments
Krista Davis, the property manager, is credentialed after participating in Murfreesboro's Crime Free Multi-Housing Program.
"I couldn't get on board quick enough because I felt like it was something I could actually contribute to," Davis said.
In the last five to 10 years, crime has risen in Murfreesboro, according to the police department.
"With the growth, you're going to have an increase in crime at apartments," said Sgt. Harry Haigh.
Haigh supervises the crime free program.
"You can't put a price on crime. We all want to live safe and raise families safe and the only way to do that is to know the other residents have adopted that ideology," he said.
To become certified crime free, participants have to complete three phases.
- Phase 1, an eight-hour meeting, introduces property managers to effective property management, including rental agreements, ongoing property management, crime prevention, warning signs of gang and drug activity, the role of police, crisis resolution, and housing assistance programs.
- Phase 2 involves an on-site property review through environmental design to improve security and lighting. Phase 2 puts everything learned in the program into effect, replacing door jams and deadbolts in doors and secondary window locks on windows, as well as landscaping and exterior lighting enhancements. While Phase 2 is time-consuming and requires a financial investment, it is very effective in reducing crime.
- Phase 3 incorporates tenant involvement.
At the properties managed by Davis, residents have to review and sign a crime free addendum before filling out an application.
"You sign and you agree that if you are arrested for criminal activity, or your guests when they're on property, then we can... if you're convicted... we will evict you," Davis said.
Twenty-six properties in Murfreesboro have completed the first phase of the program and are on the way to the full certification.