By Steve Pickett

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Mandatory Crime Reduction Program: At first glance, the title sounds more like a wish instead of an initiative.

But talk to residents who live in and around the apartments that line Dallas’s Whitehurst Street, near Fair Oaks. They’ll say crime reduction can be found in one apartment community.

Murder, drugs, prostitution and burglaries were all part of the landscape for Arbor Vista Apartments.  But the crime has been curtailed.

“From last April to now, crime is down 80 percent,” said DPD Chief David Brown.

Brown applauded the Crime Reduction Program, which has been embraced by the management of the apartment community.

Tenants connected to criminal enterprises were evicted. The police department sent in patrol officers to scan the property daily.

As a result, car thefts, assaults and robberies all declined.

“I always try to avoid this street, because it was a lot of crime”, resident Maria Cerrato said while playing with her son at a nearby park.

Her comfort level has improved, she says, because her sense of safety for the area has improved.

There are at least one dozen apartment communities within a one-mile radius of Arbor Vista. Criminal activity is still a real issue in the area.

Homeowners voice dissatisfaction with home burglaries and loitering.

But the overall crime rate in the area is down, according to police.

And if there’s one reason for the improvement, police point to the apartment community taking the lead in crime reduction.