La prensa

Apartment Safety Project to make for better neighbors

Created: 24 February, 2012
Updated: 20 April, 2022
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3 min read

Editorial:

The Chula Vista Police Department has adopted a new pro-gram that will post, on the internet, those apartment complexes and units which require numerous police responses for issues such as domestic violence, disturbing the peace, loud noise and other issues that require a police response. The program is called the Apartment Safety Project.

Some have expressed concern that the Apartment Safety Project is an invasion of privacy and find it unsettling that the program is focused on the West side of Chula Vista.

At first glance this may seem to be another case of Big Brother looking over your shoulder. Yet on a closer look it is not as intrusive as it might seem.

The Apartment Safety Project is a result of a two year study that quantified what the beat cop already knew: the worst apartment complexes in regards to police responses were on the West side of Chula Vista. The study also included focus groups, safety programs, and community meetings with tenants. Discussions focused on the most pressing issues, such as drug activity, and advised apartment managers on better management practices.

It should be noted that no personal information from police responses will be disclosed. Callers, victims, witnesses, and offenders will remain unnamed. Only the location of the disturbances will be reported. The data will provide vital information to potential and current renters and will help them determine whether apartment complexes are safe and peaceful.

Landlords will also be able to use the reports for future tenant screening. We liken this reporting to the internet maps of the residences of registered sexual offenders living in the state of California. If you are a family with young children, you would want to know if a registered sexual offender lives on your street. Wouldn’t you also want to know that you are moving into an apartment that experiences repeated calls for gang or drug activity, or loud parties and unwanted loiterers?

The fact that the initial project focuses on the West side of Chula Vista is akin to the question of the thief as to why he robs banks. Because that is where the money is! This same logic applies here: Why focus on the West side? Because that is where most of the calls come from, as detailed in a two year report compiled by the police department. The project starts out in the West side but is intended to include all Chula Vista rental complexes of 8 or more units in the near future.

The program is not only intended to inform future tenants of the living circumstances but to hold the owners and managers accountable at troubled complexes. This will hopefully lead to better screening processes, management skills, and evictions of tenants who repeatedly disturb the peace of other residences.

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In the long run, the Apartment Safety Project will provide all residents of Chula Vista with smarter police services which better utilize their time. The taxpayers will receive better services for their dollar. And Chula Vista police officers may be more frequently referred to as “Peace Officers.”

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