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POLICE INTRODUCE INITIATIVE TO KEEP APARTMENTS SAFE

The St. Petersburg Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit has developed an initiative aimed at reducing crimes in apartment complexes after City Council member Steve Kornell raised concerns following the slaying of a security guard at an apartment building in his district.

Managers from every large rental community in Kornell's district were introduced to the program in November and 20 representatives attended the first training sessions in January.

The Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program is a three-phase program for properties of all sizes.

The first phase requires the completion of a four-hour training program. Topics include understanding crime prevention, good property management, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and the Federal Fair Housing laws.

Second, a crime prevention officer conducts an inspection of the physical security and general appearance of the property.

Third, a crime prevention seminar is conducted on site for residents to learn about general safety principles and crime prevention.

Apartment communities that complete the program can post signs using the new Apartment Community Crime Reduction Program logo that may also be included in apartment ads and letterheads. The community also will be listed on the SPPD's website as having successfully completed the security requirements of the program.

To sign up or get more information, contact Officer Chip Wells at (727) 893-4993 or chip.wells@stpete.org.

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