The National Center for Housing Management (NCHM) is releasing two CD-ROM training courses this summer that will help apartment managers prepare and respond to security threats.

The first course, e-Security Primer (eSP), focuses on such issues as threat assessments, crime, community vulnerability and terrorism.

“The FBI issued a warning two years ago that apartment communities could be a terrorist target,” said Glenn Stevens, NCHM president. “We felt that we needed to develop a comprehensive, portable course so that all apartment managers will be prepared.”

eSP will help managers put in place cost-effective security measures, as well as establish a group of qualified, knowledgeable staff members to maintain a security program.

The program will “help management identify threats, develop proactive ways to minimize threats, and expose [managers] to the many resources available,” said Robert Martin, the principal author of eSP.

The second course will help managers deal with residents who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In military-based housing, there are many veterans who have returned from the Middle East and suffer from PTSD. “The military is having a real tough time with the kids’ substance abuse and violence,” said Stevens.

The programs cost $149 per user, but NCHM will offer multi-user discounts depending on the number of properties and users in a firm. These two-hour courses don’t provide certification, but they have exams that help managers retain what they learned, said Stevens.

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USPS sets tougher standards

New apartment buildings that will be placed in service on Oct. 5, 2006, or later are required to have mailboxes that meet new security standards.

The U.S. Postal Service’s STD-4C regulation revises the wall-mounted centralized mailbox standard. (See the Sept. 3, 2004, issue of the Federal Register.)

Changes include strengthening security requirements for the entire receptacle, standardizing and improving the compartment’s lock design and meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Apartment mailboxes in place before Oct. 5 are “grandfathered” and will not have to be replaced, according to Stacy Kohlmeier, marketing director for Auth-Florence, a mailbox manufacturer.