TAMPA, Fla. (Wednesday, December 1st, 2021) - The Tampa Police Department is enhancing its crime prevention efforts with a new, multi-faceted partnership to improve crime prevention education and strategies for neighborhoods, businesses, apartments, and condominium complexes across the city. Tampa S.A.F.E. (Safety Awareness for Everyone) will serve as a conduit for education and training on numerous public safety best practices. This includes neighborhood engagement, monitoring crime statistics and trends, and partnering with law enforcement.
"This is a natural step for a police department whose mission is to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life through a cooperative partnership with all our citizens. Bringing together citizens, police, landlords, tenants, business owners, and everyone else is the best way to prevent and attack crime," said Interim Police Chief Ruben Delgado.
Delgado is scheduled to discuss S.A.F.E. with Tampa City Council members this Thursday.
S.A.F.E. will be a citywide program and replace another voluntary program, Crime Free Multi-Housing, that served rental complexes and helped significantly reduce the crime rate in a number of formerly crime-ridden apartment complexes.
In September, the Tampa Bay Times published an article that incorrectly implied hundreds of tenants had been evicted because landlords were notified of tenants' arrests through that program. The Tampa City Attorney's Office looked at 529 notices of arrest provided to property managers participating in that program over the past five years and cross-checked them to public eviction records. Only EIGHT eviction cases were filed, and NONE of those were based solely on a notice of arrest. Four of the eviction cases made no mention of any arrest notice, and four were based on criminal activity and non-payment of rent.
"There is nothing more fundamental to people's quality of life than ensuring that law abiding citizens, the overwhelming majority of Tampa residents, do not have to fear for their own safety in their home or neighborhood," said Chief Delgado, who has sought input on the new S.A.F.E. program from residents, community leaders and various groups. "With violent crime rising across the country, it is more important than ever for the Tampa Police Department to maintain strong partnerships with the community to ensure we have the best and most effective police department in the country."