UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
WACO, TX--- 29 properties are now part of the Waco crime free housing program.
The program is designed to keep drugs and illegal activities away from the residences.
The Villages Apartments, a section 8 housing program, was the first apartment complex to become a part of the program in 2002.
Since then, they have seen a 60% drop in the crime rate and an 80% drop in arrests on the property.
Managers and maintenance go through eight hour training in order to learn about working with police.
They must also meet certain security codes in order to be part of the program. Those codes include everything from security lighting to the locks on the doors and windows of apartments. Background checks are also done on every resident living in a place with the Crime Free Housing Program.
Joseph Campbell is the Property Manager at The Villiages Apartments. He stresses the importance of having a relationship with police and residents in order to make sure the people are safe and to take care of any problems. Campbell says, "Our priority is the safety of our residents and their families and we take a lot of pride in that. The company I work for is behind me and behind the crime free program and everything that we're doing here to make it a better place for everybody to live."
Head of the safe unit, Sergeant Jared Wallace, stresses that the program not only reduces crime, it increases quality of life for residents.