The Orlando Police Department Crime Free Multi-Housing program (CFMH) has been an effective crime prevention program in assisting to reduce crime in rental properties, such as apartment complexes. It is a solution oriented program designed to help tenants, owners and managers of rental property keep drugs and other illegal activity off their property. This program also assists current and future Central Florida residents in identifying and locating CFMH certified communities in the greater Orlando area.
Additionally, CFMH certified properties have a Crime Free Lease Addendum that is incorporated into their lease/renewal packets that strengthens their ability to remove problem residents. The program utilizes a unique three-part strategy which ensures the crime prevention goal, while maintaining a tenant-friendly approach.
Phase One: Participation in an eight-hour seminar presented by the police department
During this training class, managers and property owners will learn about the crime prevention theory, lease agreements and eviction issues associated with the program and the importance of on-going security management. Another key factor that managers and property owners will learn is the importance of working alongside the police department to combat crime altogether.
Phase Two: Rental Property Assessment
During this phase the complex or property will receive a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (C.P.T.E.D.) assessment. This assessment consists of the “science” behind the design and will assess to certify if a property has met the security requirements required by the program. The strategy behind the design is to help eliminate or reduce criminal behavior while at the same time encourage people to “keep an eye out” for each other (National Crime Prevention Institute). The proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crimes, and an improvement of the quality of life for all residents. There are three basic elements within CPTED: control access, provide opportunities to see and be seen and define ownership and encourage the maintenance of territory (Zahm, 2007).
Crime Free Multi-Housing CPTED Requirements
- 180 Degree eye viewer in all front doors
- One inch deadbolts on all exterior doors.
- Minimum if three (3) inch screws in strike plates or have metal door frames.
- Lift and slide protection on accessible windows (Bottom floors).
- Lift and slide protection on accessible sliding doors (Bottom floors).
- Adequate security lighting in working order throughout the property.
- Properly trimmed (CPTED Standards) landscaping on the property.
- Inoperable or vehicles with expired registration tagged and removed from the property.
- Visible display of property address from the roadway.
If any of these standards are not met it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure they are met before the property can be certified to be part of the program. Phase two provides an effective guide to creating a safer environment in our community.
Phase Three: Full Certification
A tenant crime prevention meeting will be conducted for full certification and of large metal signs indicating that the property has been certified will be awarded for display. The management will also be granted the use of the program logo in all advertisements.
Certified properties can advertise their certification as proof positive that their community is committed to their residents having an apartment they are proud to call home. The program establishes an ongoing communication with OPD and the property regarding the tenants within their community. Program participation will enable them to establish a closer relationship with law enforcement with more access to data about crime incidents in their community and police actions.
Even though the purpose of the CFMH is to reduce crime and reduce the fear of residents within the City of Orlando, it is an important community policing tool. The program shows that partnership and problem solving can be achieved when the local law enforcement agency and the community work together.
Certified properties will have access to a database that tracks people that have been arrested due to documented criminal behavior. This database tracks the criminal violators so they cannot migrate from community to community. Only CFMH certified properties will have access to this secured site. The Easy Tracking database has a public access side that allows managers to access the G.O.A.L. by using an OPD-issued password.
This concept was created, developed, and implemented by the Orlando Police Crime Prevention Team and is now being made available to the International Crime Free community. The Database lists all persons arrested on Crime Free Certified Properties, as well as other properties in the Database. All adult misdemeanor and felony arrests are entered into the database. Juvenile felonies are entered into the database. All information in the G.O.A.L. Database meets public records standards and rules.
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