KENNEWICK, Wash. -- How safe is the place you live? The staff and manager at The Clearwater Square Apartments say they are happy to know, they are doing all they can to ensure the safety of their residents and their property.
Jackie Harvey, the manager of the complex, began working in April to certify the apartment through the Crime Resistant Community Living program. Apartment complexes must complete all three phases to be recognized.
Today, she and staff were recognized and thanked for their efforts in working with law enforcement.
"What you're doing is helping us by reducing your calls for service up here, reducing criminal activity up here, and it frees up our resources to be engaged in other parts of the community as well," said Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg.
The nine month process was divided into phases, starting with the Landlord Training Seminar. Police provide property managers more tools for screening tenants, recognizing criminal activity on the property as well as advising management on how to report criminal or suspicious activity.
The second phase includes upgrading the property's security measures. This includes adequate lighting in the parking lots and the common areas; quality locks with high security dead-bolts on doors, as well as secondary locks on windows and sliding doors.
The third step is holding community safety meetings that include the residents and police officers. This gives the police an opportunity to inform residents of trends in criminal activity that may affect them and lets them know how to report such activity, as well as how to keep from becoming a victim. The residents have the opportunity to let police know of concerns they may have regarding not only the apartment community but the city in general.
Harvey said, it was on top of her priority list when she started as a manger at the property.
"When people go to bed at night, I want them to be sure when they put their heads on the pillow, I want them to know that they don't have to worry about their car. They don't have to worry about somebody sneaking in a window. whether its at your home or apartment, I want it safe," Harvey said.
Harvey says so far it has been very effective. Crime related calls to police went from 22 in 2011 to 11 in 2012.
Since 1999, 15 properties have been certified. Richland Police established a similar program 5 years ago. Chief Hohenberg says, Pasco is looking to do the same next year.
For more information on the Crime Resistant Community Living program, contact Mike Blatman (509) 582-1351.