ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Alpharetta leaders have adopted a program they say will make the city's apartment complexes a safer place to live.
Monday night, the
City Council voted to sign on to the "Crime Free Multi-housing," which requires tenants in participating complexes to sign an agreement that they will not commit crimes. The agreement also calls for a background check and participating communities will not rent to anyone convicted of a violent felony, or anyone convicted of a nonviolent felony in the previous 10 years.
"We're really excited about this," said Alpharetta Public Safety
Director Gary George. "We hope it will add a lot of safety to our residents."
George said officers have noticed a trend of crimes committed in apartment communities, especially those that aren't gated.
"More entering autos, burglaries and other types of crimes," he told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik, adding that in some cases, the offenders live in the same communities.
George said the program won't be mandatory, but he expects the majority of the city's 30-plus communities will likely participate. The city is also adding levels of participation: Silver, Gold and Platinum. George said gold members will be required to have a security gate, and platinum members a security gate and cameras.
"We believe it'll give the good tenants a safer place to live," he said.
In 2009, Roswell adopted the same program, and police said it's getting high marks.
"In most of our communities, call for service went down 50
percent from 2009 until last year, 2012," said Officer Jeremy Bringle, who coordinates Roswell's program.
Bringle said violent felonies dropped about
30 percent in participating communities.
"It's worked overall pretty well for the city of Roswell," he said.
Apartment manager Karina Campos told Petchenik that before the program, Roswell Creek apartments had between
10-15 calls a day for police for crimes such as burglary and break-ins.
"It's been fantastic," she said.
Camps said in the last year, the complex has evicted nearly 30 tenants who were arrested for felonies.
"You commit a crime, you're out in the first 24 hours," she said. " Zero tolerance."