Byline: Avian Carrasquillo Daily Herald Staff Writer
The Wheeling Police Department will have a little more help in deterring crime in rental properties under a new program.
The crime-free multi-housing program, an eight-week course, is designed to team up rental property owners, managers and leasing staff with the police and fire departments in an effort to keep illegal activities out of rental properties.
Schaumburg already offers a crime-free multi-housing program and was a model for the Wheeling effort.
Foxboro North Apartments at 470 Foxboro Drive was Wheeling's inaugural participant in the program.
Susan Porter, property manager for Foxboro, said "it was a great opportunity to enhance what they were already doing and to be viewed as leaders in the community."
Wheeling police Sgt. Pete Panagakis, crime prevention unit supervisor and an instructor for the program, said the idea had been in the works for a while, but finally came together when Foxboro stepped forward as a model for the program.
"It is extremely important to get the first group through the program so we could get word out to other rental properties in town," he said.
To complete the program, Foxboro had to go through a three- tiered certification process that involved an eight-hour training course, visual inspection of the property to assess its physical security and general appearance, and a safety social that involves property management, residents and police personnel. …