December 10, 2017

 Crime Free Housing Training

The West Fargo Police Department Crime Free Multi-housing program now takes a comprehensive three phase approach to ensure a safe rental property environment. Phase one provides training to the property owner, property manager and the maintenance staff. The training is free of charge.

Those attending the training will receive instruction in: understanding crime prevention; conducting the application screening process; fundamentals of personal safety; fair housing standards; establishing lease and lease addendums; concept of active property management; working with local law enforcement and fire departments; and drug and gang awareness. The target audience for the training is the property owner, the property manager, and maintenance staff.

Phase two is a basic Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) inspection of the property. Trained personnel from the police department review the property and provide recommendations to improve safety and security for the residents.

Phase three is an organized resident social. The purpose of the social is to promote a community setting, introduce residents and staff, and provide educational materials relating to crime watch and crime prevention techniques.

Certificates are presented to the property owner or manager at the completion of each phase. Once all three phases have been completed a final certification is issued. The certification is good for one year. Final certification entitles the property owner or manager to free background checks on crime free housing applications, free reports relating to activities occurring on their property, free CPTED surveys, free crime free program materials, and free crime free multi-housing signs to be placed on the property.

The West Fargo Crime Free Multi-housing Program is based on the crime free program developed by Tim Zehring of the Mesa, AZ Police Department. The West Fargo Police Department is a member of the International Crime Free Housing Association. Questions about the program should be directed to Pam Cota, Crime Free Housing Coordinator, West Fargo Police Department 433-5500.The Crime Free Housing Coordinator conducts background checks for landlords in West Fargo and also notifies those landlords when tenants or visitors commit certain offenses on the property including:

  • Noisy parties
  • Prostitution and indecent exposure
  • Assaults
  • Disorderly conduct or peace disturbances
  • Minor possessing or consuming alcohol or providing alcohol to minors
  • Public nuisances
  • Possession of controlled substances
  • Conduct which violates laws relating to the need for protection services or deliquency of a minor
  • Terrorist threats
  • Criminal damage to property, including burglary and robbery

Crime Free Housing benefits the whole community with results that include:

  • A stable, more satisfied tenant base
  • Increased demand for rental units because of reputation for active management
  • Lower maintenance and repair costs
  • Increased property values
  • Improved personal safety for tenants, landlords, and managers
  • Peace of mind from spending more time on routine management and less time on crisis control
  • Appreciative tenants and neighbors

Crime Free Housing has a program for landlords called West Fargo Police Landlord Training Program. This program emphasizes cooperation among property owners, landlords, tenants and law enforcement agencies to help neighborhoods fight illegal activity.

The Landlord Training Program is an 8 hour course which discusses how to keep illegal activity out of rental property. Information presented in the course includes:

  1. Warning signs of drug and gang activity
  2. The eviction process
  3. The role of the police
  4. Keeping property up to code
  5. Maintaining property to habitability standards
  6. Applicant screening techniques
  7. Rental agreements
  8. Fair housing issues
  9. On-going management techniques

There is no cost for this program. For a class schedule, call 433-5500.