WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Following a homicide on Professional Drive over the weekend, the Wichita Falls Police Department is reminding apartment managers and new renters of a program to help ensure community safety.
Wichita Falls started the Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program after repeatedly seeing crime within apartment communities.
A complex is eligible to participate in the Wichita Falls Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program if the complex contains at least ten rental units and the manager goes through two hours of training.
Sgt. Charlie Eipper, Public Information Officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department, said the program works by creating a network of information about prospective renters.
“What we do is we share information about folks who are releasing or renting from them if they are arrested or anywhere in the city,” Sgt. Eipper said.
“It is not just arrested from the complex, but it can be anywhere to see if they are involved in something, arrest, disturbances, things like that,” Sgt. Eipper said. “We share that information with the apartment complex management.”
Brittany Clark, the Crime-Free Housing Coordinator, said the program also alerts managers when one of their tenants is a victim of a crime.
“Letting them know, hey, this person is a victim in this situation,” Clark said. “Essentially, like work with them.”
Clark said this aspect of the program is crucial to helping those who are affected by crime through no fault of their own stay on their feet.
“They may not have a job because they’re relying on the offender. So they may not be able to pay rent this month, just kind of work with them,” Clark said. “So that’s another really good thing that the program does.”
Many of the apartments in Wichita Falls are enrolled in this program. Signs are posted in apartment communities to allow tenants and prospective tenants to know they are in a safe area.
Officials said the program has allowed local apartment complexes to weed out most criminals from leasing a unit at their complex and has created a safer community for Wichita Falls renters.
A list of crime-free apartment complexes is not readily available online, but potential renters interested in finding out which apartments are crime-free can call the WFPD’s non-emergency line at (940) 720-5000 and request a list of complexes in the program.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.