Pinecrest Apartment residents are taking positive steps to tackle community issues through a Neighborhood Watch Program in conjunction with Williams Police Department.
The initial meeting, held Oct. 10, drew 10 Pinecrest residents who plan to meet once a month to resolve concerns and build a sense of community.
Don and Donna Easley, were two of the residents at the meeting.
“I feel the meeting went pretty good,” Don said. “With the new management, we have come a long way.” he said.
Easley was referring to Don Eddy and his wife, Debbie, who took over as resident managers Aug. 20. The apartments are located at 801 Rodeo Road.
Easley also stressed Pinecrest residents’ desire to be a contribution to the town.
“We want to be a part of the community and not talked about by the community,” he said. “Any input from other neighborhood watch programs we would love to have.”
Joann Jenkins, another Pinecrest resident, also had good things to say about the meeting.
“It was real informative and showed me that the other tenants care,” Jenkins said. “We want to make Pinecrest Apartments a better place to live for us and especially for our children.
“I’m looking forward to the next training classes to teach us how to evaluate any situation.”
WPD personnel present included Sgt. Rob Krombeen and Cpl. Brian Tozer.
“I was glad to see the people there had a lot of input on how to solve the problems not just what the problems were,” Tozer said. “Pinecrest has a history of having problems.
“We were excited about the turnout and expect a larger turnout next time. Everyone there had good ideas about bettering their community.”
Several issues surfaced at the meeting.
“After introducing ourselves, I explained the purpose of the meetings is to develop a partnership with the tenants of the complex in order to exchange resources for problem solving, in keeping with the vision for community policing in the WPD,” Krombeen said. “Cpl. Tozer fielded questions, comments and concerns from those present.”
The list of items addressed at the meeting included:
• Traffic from the trailer park on Homestead Road — late traffic, loud music, beer bottles being thrown on the ground in the parking lot. Constant traffic comes into the area by those who don’t reside at the apartments.
• Cars parked in back of the apartments are a source for possible drug/illegal activity. Hypodermic syringes have been found in the courtyard beside building A. A few weeks ago Eddy installed a barrier to prevent cars driving into that area and said he has not found any similar evidence of drug activity there since it’s been in place.
• Consumption of alcohol in the parking lot, primarily by non-residents, which is against property policy.
• The school bus stop on Frank Way is located behind trashcans, so tenants can’t see their children while they wait for the bus in the mornings.
• Poor lighting in the area.
• Signs wanted for the complex identifying the area as having an active neighborhood watch program.
• Access to the back of the complex from city property on the west side has allowed criminal activity to flourish in the dark areas behind the apartments. Tenants said they would close a gate or chain at night if provided.
“The strength of a Neighborhood Watch Program is that it gets the community together as a whole,” Tozer said. “Statistically people live in one location five years and move without getting to know their neighbors like they did years ago.
“Personally, I think this is a good program because it allows people to work together being proactive rather than reactive.
“It helps residents prevent problems rather than calling the police after a crime happens.”
Tozer commended the Eddys as Pinecrest managers. He pointed out they have eliminated tenants that do not comply with apartment regulations.
“The new managers have also worked to clean up trash and litter from surrounding areas and have had abandoned vehicles removed,” he said. “In terms of maintenance and upkeep,
I believe with the cooperation of the apartment managers, the Pinecrest residents and the WPD, the quality of life will improve for everyone in their community.”
Eddy pointed out the laundry area has been completely revamped and is now open only from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
“Before, it had a door that didn’t lock and people tried to break open the money boxes on the machines,” he said. “Four new washers and four new dryers have been installed along with new windows, new light fixtures and new floor tiles.”
The walls have been repaired and repainted.
All the potholes in the parking lot have been filled, handicapped signage is in place and the lot has been restriped. Now each building has its own garbage container attached to help keep debris down.
Eddy said Pinecrest is under new ownership and more improvements are anticipated such as new roofs, new double paned windows and interior remodeling.
“Landmark Management Group in Scottsdale took over in February,” he said. “Our goal is to make Williams proud of Pinecrest Apartments.”
Pinecrest will hold Neighborhood Watch meetings every month for the next six months, then evaluate the frequency of the meetings. Future meetings will provide resident training in identifying, noting, and reporting criminal activity in the area as well as safety awareness training for children
Tozer pointed out WPD has recently had requests for three additional Neighborhood Watch programs in town on Fulton, Edison and Franklin avenues.
At least one of these is a direct outgrowth of the Pinecrest meeting. Sarah Serrano attended and now plans to start up Neighborhood Watch on her street.
“I’m a homeowner, and my daughter invited me to this Neighborhood Watch meeting,” she said. “I learned so much and it was great watching and hearing the police officers help and solve problems.”
Anyone interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch Program, can contact any WPD officer by calling 635-4461.