A Waco, TX program supposedly designed to “reduce criminal activity in apartment communities”, allows police officers to enter people’s apartment buildings, without their consent, to check for things like dead bolt locks, proper eye holes in the front door, and also make sure smoke alarms are properly maintained and fire extinguishers are present.
A letter (pictured on the right) warns apartment renters that 10% of apartments are subject to inspection and that they are not required to be home during the inspection.
How the presence of fire extinguishers and smoke alarms can possibly “reduce criminal activity” is beyond the understanding of reasonable people. Allowing police officers virtually unrestricted access to people’s apartments, even when the tenants are not home, is equally disturbing.
If inspections are truly geared towards ensuring door locks and smoke detectors are functional, why use police? Why not use maintenance workers? A more pressing question: what prevents police officers from searching through personal belongings?