Tim Zehring in Mesa, Arizona started the Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) Program in 1992. CFMH came to Minnesota in 1994. The program has been very successful, earning the endorsements of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota State Sheriffs Association, Minnesota Crime Prevention Association, and the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association. Minnesota currently has over 120 law enforcement agencies participating in CFMH or similar programs.
CFMH can offer a more stable and satisfied tenant base, increased demand for rental units, and gives management a reputation for being active and invested in their properties. The programs consists of three phases that must be completed under the supervision of your local law enforcement agency.
Phase 1 | Management Training
Phase One is an eight-hour management training class that is sponsored by a law enforcement agency and invites various presenters to cover topics such as:
- Crime Prevention / Working with Police
- Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CPTED) Principals
- Lease Agreements and Evictions
- Applicant Screening & Fair Housing
- Terrorism Awareness and Prevention (TAP)
Phase 2 | Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CPTED) Survey
Phase Two is a premise survey using Crime Prevention Through Environment Design principals where a representative from your local police does a security walk around at your rental property to specifically look for weaknesses that could be exploited by a would be burglar. When conducting a CPTED survey, seven minimum-security requirements are looked at including:
- Properly trimmed landscaping
- Adequate security lighting
- Address and unit numbers prominently displayed
- Single cylinder dead bolt locks
- Heavy duty strike plates
- 180 degree eye viewers
- Anti-slide and anti-lift devices on sliding doors and windows
Phase 3 | Resident Safety Meeting
Phase Three is a resident safety meeting. It often includes management, residents, and law enforcement in order to create a community partnership. This allows all attendees to speak on a variety of topics. They could include:
- What residents can due in order to reduce crime
- How and when to report suspicious behavior
- Basic safety Overview
- And any other topics that are important to your community
If a property manager or owner completes all three phases then their property will receive full certification (gold certificate) that permits them the right to post the Crime Free Multi-Housing sign on their property and advertise membership including printing the official CFMH logo in promotion of their property. This gold certification expires every year unless renewed with your local law enforcement agency. Check with your local law enforcement agency as some cities require certain phases (phase one) to be completed once you obtain a rental license.
The Minnesota Crime Prevention Association has created a CFMH Committee which is comprised of MCPA members and was formed as an avenue for agencies to come together to learn, discuss issues and ideas, and share what they are doing in their respective cities. The CFMH committee meets four times each year. Each meeting is hosted by a different agency and different topics related to rental housing are discussed at each meeting. MCPA members are encouraged to attend the quarterly meetings.
Crime Prevention Coordinator RuthAnn Eide with the Saint Paul Police Department is the Committee Chair for CFMH. Feel free to contact her at RuthAnn.Eide@ci.stpaul.mn.us with any questions.
MCPA Annual Conference
The MCPA hosts an annual statewide conference in October of each year. This conference features; educational breakout sessions, exhibitors, silent auction, Bingo, and several networking opportunities. The conference is a great way to learn about crime prevention topics and network with a variety of officers from many different agencies throughout Minnesota.