Police, apartment managers join forces with Yellow Card Program
By Sarah Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
April 7, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Area apartment managers will soon have another tool to help them identify which of their tenants are misbehaving.
The Longview Police Department is launching its own Yellow Card Program - a proactive system used by many cities to inform apartment managers when officers respond to a problem within the complex.
"It encourages communication between apartment complex managers and police and also the public in general," LPD spokeswoman Kristie Brian said.
Starting April 15, the responding officer will fill out a yellow card with a description of the incident, the people involved, arrests made and time and date of the offense. The cards will then be made available to the apartment's manager.
The cards also will help apartment managers enforce their policies and codes of conduct for tenants - even serving as a paper trail that could help them evict troublemakers, according to Brian.
"It will help them identify which residents are causing problems," Brian said.
Brian said the program also will act as a deterrent.
"It will make apartment complexes safer by telling the criminal that if police come to your apartment, the apartment manager will find out about it," she said.
Keshia Dudley, a five-year resident at Hidden Hills Apartments, welcomes the program and its potential impact.
"I think it will be a great thing around Longview," she said.
She added that she isn't aware of many problems at her apartment complex and she thinks the program would help keep it that way.
Heather Herzig, who has managed Evergreen at Longview for the past seven years, stressed the importance of community relations with police.
Herzig said her complex, which caters to seniors, doesn't have problems with criminal activity because her tenants believe they are also responsible for keeping the area safe.
"We work closely with our PAR (police area representative) to make sure we are proactive in the community," she said.
Herzig is excited about the program's potential to build relationships between other apartment managers and the police.
"I work very hard to network with other apartment complexes to let them know how important it is to work with the Longview Police Department to keep our community safe," she said.
Herzig and her tenants are also active in Neighborhood Crime Watch, Texans Against Crime by hosting a monthly crime watch meeting.
"It's a team effort. If we all do a little, we will make a big difference."