MESA, Ariz. (May 4, 2015): Since the Escobedo at Verde Vista development opened in 2013, the Mesa Police Department has documented a significant drop not only in crime rates but overall police activity in the entire Escobedo Neighborhood.
The 132 low-income housing unit complex is a unique public-private-nonprofit partnership among Save the Family, Gorman & Company, the Arizona Department of Housing, City of Mesa and West Mesa CDC.
“The number of serious crimes are down and overall law enforcement is less since the development opened,” said Mesa Police Commander John Williams. “The Escobedo at Verde Vista development and our relationship with Save the Family has made a significant impact on lowering crime rates in the neighborhood. We have a very strong relationship with Save the Family that is paying great dividends for the entire community.”
Calls for service, including traffic stops, has dropped from 1,431 in 2012 to 880 in 2014.
Escobedo at Verde Vista, 435 N. Hibbert in Mesa, is certified by the Mesa Police Department at the highest level as a Tri-Star Property, a three-phase program designed to help residents, owners and managers of rental properties keep drugs and other illegal activity away from their communities. The process involves establishing a program agreement, a crime-free lease addendum and trespass enforcement program; meeting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) landscaping requirements for security and lighting and establishing ongoing communication with tenants.
Through the program, residents and staff meet with police officials “to learn how to and when to call the police and the type of crime prevention information they provide to us,” Williams said. “When a property like Escobedo at Verde Vista becomes Tri-Star certified, we know what they’re calling us about and we can take care of those situations which pushes crime numbers down.”
Before Escobedo at Verde Vista opened, the vacant property attracted “a lot of activity, particularly drug-related activity,” Williams said. “Now when we get a call about suspicious activity, that’s a good call because it helps prevent crime.”
Save the Family Chief Executive Officer Jacki Taylor emphasized that developments like Escobedo at Verde Vista are designed “not only to provide affordable housing to individuals looking to rebuild their lives but also to enable us to become part of the community, as good neighbors, making real contributions through quality environments.”
“This is the type of partnership that works and works well,” Williams said. “It and others like it are making a difference.”