New statistics from the FBI show the Crime-Free Program in Wichita Falls, Texas, is making a difference.
The Wichita Falls Police Department first began offering a three-hour free class for apartment communities, then expanded the program to self-storage facility owners and managers, and hotel/motel owners. The program shows ways to be more aware of and reduce illegal or unsafe activity on their property.
The data for Wichita Falls shows violent crimes are down, and property crimes are down by an even greater degree—by 1,362 cases. The city’s figures seem to correspond with the national statistics, which shows declines in violent crimes and property crimes from 2008 to 2009.
As part of the program, police will periodically drive through a self-storage property, and dogs will be brought in to sniff the site for drugs. The program outlines qualifications for participating facilities, such as keeping certain gate hours, using a special type of lock, and having a lock-check program in place.
According to WFPD, self-storage businesses provide a unique target for criminals because many items of value are stored there. Additionally, criminal conduct can go unnoticed due to low traffic in the area. The class provides solutions to many of these problems. The International Crime Free Association has found self-storage businesses can reduce their calls for service by as much as 60 percent, WFPD said.
The police department plans to extend the Crime Free philosophy into other sectors as well.
Source: Times Record News, Violent Crimes Down in the City