A program to reduce crime in Del Norte County launched by Sheriff Erik Apperson features a class for property owners and managers outside city limits.

The sheriff is hosting the free class Feb. 28 that satisfies the first of a three-phase process. Class begins at 9 a.m. at the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and end no later than 5 p.m.

The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program’s goal is to keep illegal activity off rental property.

“The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is a state-of-the-art crime prevention program designed to reduce crime, drugs and gangs on apartment properties,” according to an information post on the sheriff’s Facebook Page. “This program was successfully developed at the Mesa, Arizona, Police Department in 1992. The International Crime Free Multi-Housing Program has spread to nearly 2,000 cities in 48 U.S. States, five Canadian provinces, England, Nigeria and Puerto Rico, to name a few.”

The program must be taught under the supervision of local law enforcement personnel and is conducted in three phases. Landlords and property managers who complete the course can become individually certified.

According to the International Crime Free Association website, the benefits of the program include reduced calls for police service, a more stable tenant base and reduced exposure to civil liability.

Phase 1 classes include training in crime prevention theory, security, resident screening and monitoring and responding, along with gang, drug and crime prevention and responding to criminal activity, and with gang, drug activity and crime prevention classes.

Phase II teaches prevention through environmental design, lock standards and more.

Phase III is community awareness training.