Public Safety Task Force (CPTED in Multi-Unit Housing)
The East County Public Safety Task Force was an alliance of community groups, law enforcement agencies, and prevention providers serving the unincorporated region of East San Diego County. The group was organized in 2007 to address the growing drug-related activity and other crimes occurring in rental complexes, some of which had as many as 400 calls a year for law enforcement services.
The goal of the group was to increase the capacity of apartment managers and owners to prevent such crimes by implementing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies in their respective properties. With technical assistance from IPS, this was accomplished through a county ordinance that mandated participation of high-risk properties in the nationally-recognized Crime Free Multi-Unit Housing training program.
In addition to comprehensive training on CPTED strategies, the program included a safety inspection conducted by specially trained sheriff’s deputies. Landlords also learned to foster a stronger sense of community among tenants by making positive, quality-of-life changes to their dwellings. And at the conclusion of the program, a Crime Free certification was issued to each participating facility.
The program has proved successful. Property crimes have dropped significantly, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Complexes that once generated multiple calls for service became desirable places to live, with more stable resident bases and connections to the surrounding community.