Who would have thought the Roswell community would have enjoyed a 60 percent drop in crime rates by doing something as simple as trimming their shrubs?
That's not the whole story, of course, but it is one part of the big picture regarding how the Roswell Creek Apartment Home complex went from daily visits by police to a 60 percent crime reduction in one year, according to a Fox News report on August 26.
The rest of the story involves the willingness of the apartment's management leadership to partner with police and encourage their residents to do the same, and to make the recommended changes law enforcement advised them to do.
For example, in addition to keeping shrubs and trees trimmed to prevent providing a canopy for criminals to hide behind, Roswell PD asked management at the apartment community to also use 3-inch screws in their apartment door strike plates, so it would be harder for criminals to force their way into the homes.
That's not a bad idea for any homeowner as well. And keeping shrubs trimmed around the exterior of a home can help prevent any homeowner from becoming a victim of a burglar or other home intruder.
Roswell Police officers did their part as well in this particular case, making themselves available for assistance with the crime-free housing program initiated by their department, which includes getting residents and the children in residential communities comfortable with them. To do that the officers bring teddy bears and badges as well as a friendly smile onto the premises, welcoming questions of all kinds, according to Roswell Officer Jeremy Bringle.
And off-duty police officers can also be hired as the security for residential communities, like they were in the Roswell Creek scenario. When that happens they don't make available their exact schedule to be worked, choosing to keep their hours unknown and random, to prevent criminals knowing when and where they will appear each day or night at the complex.
Roswell Creek's Manager Karina Campos was proactive for her community when she arrived for work in early 2012. Now, little more than one year later, Campos can boast seeing crime rates cut in half at the apartment facility. And her residents are thankful for that.
Let your apartment complex manager know that you want a similar type program and relationship with the law enforcement agency in your community, as most police departments have some type of neighborhood watch program that they seek to promote and implement in order to reduce crime rates in their area. And police welcome the public's participation, so take them up on their offer!