(WMC) - Local leaders found a new way to keep families living in crime-ridden apartment complexes safe.
The initiative is called Safeways Certified Communities. People living in the Greenbriar Apartment Complex in North Memphis are already benefiting from the program.
When Michael Ford moved to Greenbriar Apartments last year, he learned firsthand about crime.
Shortly after a car break-in, Ford's apartment complex applied for the Safeways Certified Communities program. Managers had to agree to hire extra security, put up additional surveillance cameras, and implement several other safety measures.
Greenbriar managers teamed up with residents, the police, and community leaders Thursday to unveil the Safeways Certified Communities sign that many will soon see at a number of Shelby County apartment complexes.
"It's much more than agreeing to put a sign out front, it is a really rigorous that has to be committed," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.
"Committed" to not just stopping crime but helping residents get their GEDs, get tutored, and working with on-site organizations like the Neighborhood Christian Center.
"What we do in this neighborhood is provide empowerment programs, food clothing emergency type services," said Ephie Johnson, Neighborhood Christian Center.
You'll also see a larger police presence and no trespassing signs from the Shelby County district attorney program helping to stop burglars from coming on the complex's property.
"Its proactive. You fight crime three ways: enforcement, prevention and intervention," said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
So far, Greenbriar and 12 other apartment complexes have taken the steps to become Certified Safeway Communities, and organizers say more are to come.
Also, LEDIC and Makowsky Ringle Greenberg are also participating in the program.