Dallas Police Issue Plan to Curb Apartment Crime

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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Dallas Police Issue Plan to Curb Apartment Crime

KXAS

Police said about five to six officers with the gang unit were at an apartment complex serving a felony warrant for aggravated assault when an officer was fatally shot on Jan. 6, 2009.

Dallas police are asking the City Council to pass a plan that forces some apartment complexes to institute crime prevention measures. 

The Dallas Police Department says nearly a third of all serious crimes in Dallas are committed in or near an apartment complex. 

Police are asking the City Council to approve a plan that calls for high-crime complexes to conduct mandatory background checks on all employees and tenants, install perimeter fencing and security lighting and grant police the right to come onto the property at any time to arrest people for trespassing.

The ordinance goes before the Dallas City Council on Wednesday.

Houston passed a similar measure with great success. The Houston Police Department said crime in the targeted complexes dropped nearly 50 percent.

The Apartment Association of Greater Dallas said it supports the prevention plan because it doesn’t punish the owners that are doing things right. 

“Many of the slum lords are not in our association,” said spokeswoman Kathy Carlton. “They don’t put money into their properties. They are falling down, and they don’t do criminal background checks.”

If the ordinance passes, all apartment complex owners will have the opportunity to join a voluntary “Gold Star” program.  It allows apartment managers to work with police to come up with crime-prevention measures.

Police also want to help institute crime-watch programs in apartment complexes across Dallas.

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