Recent incidents involving robbery, gun fire, and large parties at Aspen Heights housing complex have encouraged the Columbia police department to step in. Columbia Police Sgt. Joe Bernhard says the beat sergeants and the sector lieutenant are now working with Aspen Heights management to improve safety and security. He says the management has been requesting a courtesy officer, or off duty police officer, on site to look over things.
“I think it’s just small things that need to happen and have to set expectations for the tenants and enforce the rules,” Bernhard says.
Residents now have to use a remote device to enter the property while access codes for visitors have been revoked. Security guards at the entrance gate will now be noting who has visitors and at what rate. Residents can have no more than four guests at once and each household is allowed to have a maximum of ten people present at anytime according to a city ordinance.
Security has been present a large majority of the time Aspen Heights housing complex has been in operation, but crime has continued to occur. In August, there was a report of a home invasion robbery, followed by other similar theft incidents. On October 6th, there was a large party that ended with shots fired into the air. No one was hurt.
MU sophomore Avery Russell says she has felt unsafe at times living in Aspen Heights.
“I just don’t feel very secure which is unfortunate because we have so much security…supposedly,” Russell says.
Russell admits that she does feel safer when she knows the security guards are present because they seem to be thorough every time she encounters them. She says the new restrictions on the number of guests each resident can have don’t upset her and her roommates because they don’t usually have that many people over but mentions that a lot of her neighbors will be upset about it.