(MURFREESBORO) Residents living in the area near MTSU continue to be concerned about the continued increase of crime and fatal shootings.
This report is to give the public information and to allow them to draw their own conclusions. With the community together "on the same page", perhaps some solutions can be created.
The case files from the Murfreesboro Police show the fatal shootings in the university area:
- MURDER & NON-NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 920 GREENLAND DR. (5/4/17)
- MURDER & NON-NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 1841 LASCASSAS PIKE (5/16/2017)
- MURDER & NON-NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 2707 RUTHERFORD BLVD. SOUTH (5/27/17
Links WGNS' news accounts to the three deaths within 19-days near the university area.
- MURDER & NON-NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 417 UNIVERSITY STREET (5/3/18)
- MURDER & NON-NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 534 REID AVENUE (Alley) (5/19/18)
- MURDER & NON-NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 614 EAST STREET (8/6/18)
- MURDER/HOMICIDE 1322 EAGLE STREET (6/22/19)
- MURDER, FIRST DEGREE 2850 MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLVD. (8/2/19)
- UNCLASSIFIED SHOOTING DEATH 902 GREENLAND AVE. (9/10/19)
Notice that two of the above deaths occurred within two days of each other and both in or adjacent to apartments for university students. Police have not classified the type of shooting death on Sept. 8, 2019, but the end results are the same: a person was shot to death in the university area, and that is a crime.
Plans for Crime Free Multi-Housing
In a period where three persons were shot and killed in 2017, city officials said that privately owned apartments near Middle Tennessee State University campus will be the focus of a strategy that will step up patrols and increase landlord accountability. By the way, those deaths were within a 19 day period, May 4-23, 2017.
Rob Lyons was city manager at that time, he said, "Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland and other city officials met (5/16/2017) with the managers of apartments around MTSU who have the highest call for police service. They were advised that the situation must improve and they need to play a significant role."
Lyons shared several options the city would like complex owners to implement. "One successful technique is implementing a lease provision that requires immediate termination of a lease if a resident or guest at an apartment complex is arrested on a drug or violence-related offense."
Another tactic, Lyons added, would be aggressive and timely towing of vehicles without proper resident or visitor identification.
The increased saturation patrols and additional investigations comes amidst a disturbing uptick in gun-related incidents in off-campus complexes since mid-2016. Many lower-cost units in those complexes are rented by the bedroom, not as a full apartment, and are available to students and non-students.
The city also revealed it will create an inspection and awareness program. Scheduled to be launched this summer, the program will give potential renters and citizens more tools to identify multi-family properties that are actively working with Murfreesboro Police to deter criminal activity.
Apartment Manager Classes Continue
City officials told NewsRadio WGNS that the first 8-hour training class was held February, 2018. Participation by apartment managers was so low that the second class was not held until a year later. Even then, only 15 persons attended.
Currently, only three apartment complexes (all locally owned, and all the same owner) have completed all three phases of the program and are now certified. The remaining 38 apartment complexes have only completed Phase I.
City officials note, "Government can not force apartment complexes and managers to follow all of the guidelines or hold them accountable until they have completed all three phases."
In regards to the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, the free 8-hour education training class is only one of three phases that must be completed by management and employees of the complexes.
In order to measure true success of the program and its effectiveness, as the one in Arizona, the properties will have to be 100-pencent certified into the program and follow all the guidelines, including agreeing to having tenants sign a lease addendum. The lease addendum makes the process easier to evict a problem tenant.
Please refer to the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program on Murfreesboro Police Webpage. This will accurately explain how the program should work, meaning all the complexes MUST complete all three phases of the program and not just an 8-hour class in order for the program to be as success as the one in Arizona.