Columbia student housing neighborhood plans event to address issues including crime

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Aspen Heights, the student neighborhood complex off of Highway 63 and Grindstone Parkway, is preparing for a community-wide event to discuss problems like crime.

Since its opening in August, the complex has been in the spotlight several times for crimes, including robberies, a shooting and an alleged rape.

Aspen Heights has added several security measures throughout the months, according to the complex's management.

They now have two full-time Columbia Police Department courtesy officers on the property patrolling at all times. All of the houses have armed alarm systems, there is a gate to get in and out of the neighborhood that will be used 24 hours, and security cameras at that gate.

However, even with all of these preventative measures, Aspen Heights management is still planning to hold a community meeting.

That event will be held on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Aspen Heights clubhouse.

University of Missouri student government, MU police, Columbia police, City Council members, parents, and residents are all invited to discuss problems in the neighborhood and what improvements can be made. They also plan on discussing what has been working well.

Other housing property managers are also invited to the event. Aspen Heights told ABC 17 News that they are not afraid to reach out to their competitors to get their insight.

The owner of Aspen Heights said teaching students to be extra careful regarding their safety will be a large focus at the meeting.

That's because all of the criminal suspects were able to get into the houses through unlocked doors and windows. 

The owner also said they might have two officers check students' doors and windows as a reinforcement to students to lock up.

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