The Crescent City Police Department is proud to announce that eight area apartment communities have received their Crime Free Multi-Unit Housing Program Phase One completion certificates.

Owners and managers of the apartment communities recently completed an eight-hour training course and the certificates will now be posted in the offices of the following apartment communities and businesses: City of Crescent City Housing Authority, Seabreeze Apartments, Seaside Village, Sunset Harbor RV Park, Surf Apartments, Totem Villa Apartments, Valhalla Townhomes and Gomez Apartments.

The program is a contract between property owners, managers and apartment tenants with the Crescent City Police Department. The goal is to set guidelines for tenant conduct to reduce crime in apartment communities.

This year the program has established a partnership with the Del Norte County Department of Health and Human Services, Tobacco Use Prevention Program (TUPP), whereby Seaside Village and Gomez Apartments have agreed to implement a no-smoking policy that will significantly reduce maintenance cost and provide for a healthier environment for their tenants.

Four other apartment communities are waiting to make a decision to implement a no-smoking policy. TUPP will provide smoking cessation and educational material for tenants and provide signage for the property managers.

Smoke-free apartments are spreading throughout California and are becoming the wave of the future, with their numbers increasing daily. Renters are speaking out about the dangers of cigarette smoke and demanding that apartment communities impose a no-smoking policy to protect their health.

In a local study conducted in 2010, 85 percent of the people surveyed were supportive of smoke-free policies for apartment communities, with 77 percent of smokers favoring some type of policy in multi-unit-housing communities.

The next phase of the Crime Free process is to conduct a property inspection, which identifies areas that require additional security measures such as high security locks for doors and windows, security lighting, in addition to landscaping that eliminates hiding spots and concealment.

The third phase of the process is the best; it is a celebration with all the tenants and the placing of the official Crime Free Multi-Unit Housing emblem on the property.

By reducing criminal activity and eliminating exposure to cigarette smoke, these apartment communities become a healthier and safer place to live and over the long term increase property value and make the units more desirable to live in.

My goal is to make Crescent City a safe place to live for children, families and senior citizens.

If you are a property manager or tenant and want to improve your health and safety, contact the Crescent City Police Department, at 464-2133. Our mission is to work in partnership with the community to protect life and property and to enhance the quality of life in our city through proactive problem solving, fair and equitable law enforcement, and the effective use of resources.

Doug Plack is the Crescent City police chief.