El Cajon apartment complex fights crime with unlikely ally

Posted at 5:34 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 22:16:07-05

EL CAJON, Calif. - Many San Diego families are looking for a deal on rent, but is leasing a lower-priced apartment worth living in a higher crime area?

At the Hunter's Run apartment complex in El Cajon, Melissa Clyde leases the 200-plus units below the county median. Apartments at the complex can be rented out from $1,000 to $1,450 a month.

"Everything here has been remodeled in the last three years," Clyde said.

Clyde doesn't just get the residents the keys; she also keeps them safe once they move in, thanks in part to her training with El Cajon police.

She now has an open line to the police department should residents come to her with complaints. She said it helps correct a common problem -- many renters shy away from tattling on other tenants.

"Nowadays, people are just afraid to get involved," Clyde said. "We open that line of communication and let them know that we care. We want to know what's going on."

Clyde trained in a program called Crime Free Multi-Housing. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said it's helped cut crime by 30 percent in five years.

The program also helps tenants in renewing their leases, which means more familiar faces for Clyde to see on her daily walks around Hunter's Run.