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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Landlords Fight Crime

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

A recent rash of violent crimes in Bryan, has drawn attention to how safe are neighborhoods really are.

Police say no matter how many officers are on patrol, the crimes still occur, but now they're trying to get to the root of the problem -- and they have some powerful allies.

Several times a day an officer makes the rounds in this west side Bryan neighborhood.

Police know this area is a trouble spot, so they make sure they're visible to troublemakers.

But just this week, a stabbing and a shooting left two residents seriously injured.

Leaving police with a realization that patrolling is not enough.

"It tends to make people feel more comfortable. That's about the only benefit we've seen," said Bryan Police Officer Walt Melnyck.

That's why Bryan Police had to come up with a more effective way to clean up neighborhoods, starting with property owners.

"If you don't take care of the goose, it stops laying the golden eggs," said Doug Pederson.

Pederson owns Twin City Properties.

He says slum lords will eventually lose out, but so do residents and the community when properties are not well-managed.

"It is a problem if you just simply let people move in, without screening them, without knowing who the people have been," said Pederson.

So as a first line of defense, land lords and police are teaming up to fight crime.

"The property owners are taking a vested interest in their property," said Melnyck.

Pederson says it makes all the difference.

"A lot of the properties we buy, the before and after pictures are so unbelievable. There's a synergy tied to that -- and it'll spread just the same as the opposite," said Pederson.

Police say criminals just won't stick around if a neighborhood is cleaning up its act.

Just picking up trash, will make an area undesirable to drug dealers and gang members.

"If the land lords did their jobs, the jobs of police would be easier," said Pederson.

Even with a proactive attitude, crime still happens, but sometimes neighborhoods can decide whether it happens in their back yard.

Police say no matter what neighborhood you live in, call them and find out what officers are on patrol, so you can better communicate any problems.


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