Crime Prevention at Home
Neighborhood Watch Program
The Neighborhood Watch program in our city is comprised of interested and concerned residents in various neighborhoods who join together to assist in the protection of their community. These residents look for solutions to specific neighborhood “problems” and issues of concern, and learn how to work effectively with the police department through sharing and training.
Burglary Prevention Tips
Learn prevention techniques to avoid a break in:
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
- Never place identification tags on your key rings.
- Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
- Push button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
- Treat your garage door opener like your keys, do not leave your garage door opener inside a vehicle which is parked outside.
Precautions to Take
View these precautions to take:
- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
- Consider installing a burglar alarm system.
- Don't open your door until you know who is there.
- Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home. This is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
- Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the police when you see something suspicious.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places, burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Remember the three L's of Crime Prevention: Lights, Locks and the Law!
- Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
Secure Your Car
Remove your keys and lock your doors when leaving your vehicle. It only takes seconds to steal a locked car without the keys - why make it easier for a thief by leaving the keys in the car? Do not leave extra keys inside the vehicle or under the hood. Secure your valuables in your trunk or take them with you. Don't create temptation by leaving valuables within view inside your vehicle. When returning to your vehicle at night, be aware of your surroundings. Look underneath and inside your vehicle before entering.
Although most of these tips apply to homeowners, businesses can apply them to their anti-crime efforts, too.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Learn how to stay alert and be aware:
- Ask the phone company to not list your address in the book.
- Carry your purse firmly and close to your body or better yet leave it at home and only carry what you need in your pocket - such as a small amount of money, keys, and maybe one credit card.
- Do not hitchhike and never pick up hitchhikers.
- Go with your gut feelings - if you feel uncomfortable, leave.
- Have your car or house key in your hand as you approach the door. If attacked use those keys as weapons!
- If you are concerned about crime and must go out, use the buddy system. Take a friend on that jog around your neighborhood. You'll both benefit from it!
- Keep your wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket.
- Only list your last name and first initial in the phone book and on mail boxes.
- Park in well-lighted areas that will be well-lighted when you return. Be sure to lock your car doors. If you jog, do not jog alone in isolated areas.
- Stay alert by being aware of your surroundings.
- Walk everywhere with a sense of purpose - show you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
If You Feel Victimized
What do in a situation when you feel in danger:
- Call the police immediately, identify yourself and give your exact location. If safe to do so, do not leave the scene.
- Don't escalate this crime into a violent encounter, but never let your assailant take you to another location. Your chance of survival is slim.
- If the attacker is after your property, don't resist. That watch, car, money - whatever is replaceable - you are not!
- Make an effort to get an accurate description of your attacker: age, sex, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
- Remain calm. Try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion.
- When you call 911 you will be asked several questions by the Call Taker. Be patient. While your are answering their questions they are keying in your information and dispatching the next available car. Any information you can provide to the dispatcher may help the officer en route to your call with apprehending the suspect.
Wait for the officer to arrive or to call you back. The time it takes for an officer to arrive will depend on many factors. All of our calls are prioritized by emergency status. Be ready to provide the following information:
- Phone Number
- Your Name
- What happened? Describe the event in as brief manner as possible.
- When did it happen? Tell if the crime is in progress or when it occurred.
- Where did they go? Which way and how did they leave?
- Who did it? Name or describe the suspect or vehicle, if there is one.