Crime Free Programs
A Brief History
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program started in 1992 in Mesa AZ, when Tim Zehring of the Mesa Police Department was tasked to design a safety program that would work in rental housing. The Neighborhood Watch or Block Watch program that worked so well in established single-family housing neighborhoods was not working in multi-family rental properties because of the lack of ownership and pride on the part of some apartment renters and in some cases, the apartment owners.
People with criminal intent were moving into rental property to ply their trade, and in most cases this resulted in expensive repairs and constant police calls to these properties. Renters didn’t care, owners couldn’t maintain safe and secure apartments, and the police continued to go on repeat calls to these locations. The entire concept left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. No matter where a person traveled, the same problems were consistent from property to property.
Using some basic crime prevention ideas, Tim packaged a program that has had a tremendous influence on rental properties around the country and the world; hence, the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program was born. This multi-faceted new program had no precedent. For the first time, a coalition of police, property managers, and residents of rental properties worked together to keep crime out of rental properties. AND IT WORKS!
This program consists of three phases to address crime problems in these communities, beginning with the co-operative teaching of managers, owners and law enforcement, to working together to provide a safe environment for tenants and, finally providing information to tenants to show how they can help maintain a safe place to live.
The development of the Crime Free Lease Addendum proved to be the backbone of the Crime Free Program. This addendum, to a typical lease agreement, lists specific criminal acts that, if committed on the property, will result in immediate termination of the resident’s lease.
This program achieved almost instant success, with properties certified in the program showing an average 75% reduction in crime and/or police calls to participating properties. We have even seen as much as a 90% reduction in some cases. See success stories and testimonials
This program, now international in scope, continues to grow and provide safe environments for people who choose to live in rental properties and choose to live Crime Free lifestyles. Our goal is to continue to build on the program that founder, retired officer and Executive Director Emeritus of the International Crime Free Association, Tim Zehring began.
The Five Original Board Members:
International Crime Free Association
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