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Cutting Crime At San Diego County Apartment Complexes

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San Diego County officials say a public safety task force is helping to reduce crime on rental properties in the east county.

— San Diego County officials say a public safety task force is helping to reduce crime on rental properties in the east county.

The East County Public Safety Task Force started in 2007 to reduce illegal activity and nuisance calls at rental properties.

Brandy Faulkner is the resident manager of what was once a nuisance property, a 160-unit apartment complex in Lakeside.

Faulkner said the task force helped eliminate chronic problems.

"I think it was really great that they were able to help us, we wouldn't have been able to do it without them honestly," said Faulkner. "Because we weren't aware of the calls, we weren't really aware of the types of calls, it's kind of one of those things, it's a big place and nobody's going to tell you when they call the Sheriff unless the Sheriff tells you, so that really helped out a lot."

She said out of 160 tenants, 29 problem tenants were evicted.

Faulkner said the tenants must now sign a lease in which they agree not to engage in criminal activity on or near the property.

She said if the lease agreement is broken, tenants get a three-day eviction notice.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore credits the task force for also reducing property crime.

"There's a significant drop in property crimes out here in east county and I think that's partially a result of some of the good work we're doing in this east county nuisance property task force," said Gore.

The task force uses a specialized training program to teach apartment owners and managers how to identify drug and gang activity and on ways to prevent crime in the multi-unit complexes.

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