This past year, many of the same people who were breaking into cars graduated to breaking into homes, the homes being hit are random, but the criminals are known to be on drugs, so please be careful!
Here are some things that we have done to help our program. I don’t know if you have Neighborhood Watch signs posted around town, but one way to obtain them is to have one of your organizers call Guardian Protection Services in Warrendale. 800-852-1298. Not only will they provide nice metal signs for both businesses and residences, they will attend your meetings and offer a lot of great safety tips. They also provide free fingerprinting for children. If you want to contact me through the Baden Neighborhood Watch page here on facebook, I can give you the name and number of the representative who helped us out.
If you haven’t already, try to involve your police department and council in your meetings, having their support is very valuable, and they can provide updates as to the activity in town. If you have enough willing volunteers, print up some flyers outlining your Watch program meeting times, etc. and hand them out in homes and businesses. Let the fire department know about your group, and leave flyers in the borough office and in stores around town. Most will be very happy to cooperate as it helps to keep them safe as well. More people being aware mean more eyes and ears to help out.
Our police chief and Sargent usually attend our meetings along with our mayor and a member of council. Some of the things they stress are if you see something suspicious, a car or people in your neighborhood that don’t belong there, or see an actual crime in progress, call them immediately, don’t ever try to intervene or be a hero. The faster they know, the faster they can respond. We want these criminals to know we are watching them and are not going to tolerate this anymore. Motion lights are another suggestion they made. If someone is snooping around and a light comes on, it will often scare them away. They don’t know if you actually saw them and turned the light on to investigate.
If you have designated leaders or can involve the mayor or chamber of commerce, don’t be afraid to solicit money from business or elected officials, the DA, etc. for funds to provide advertising for your program, or even some motion lights around town. You will need a letter head and approval from council to proceed, but we have had good luck. We even handed out Halloween treats with our information on them.
Here in Baden, people are knocking on doors to see if anyone is at home. If they saw someone, they left. That’s what happened to me, and it was enough to finally install a security system. Please, don’t ever open your door if you are not absolutely certain that you know who is there. This is especially true for our elderly neighbors. We need to keep a close eye on our neighbors, our homes and our vehicles. Always lock your cars, your doors and windows at home, even when you are inside. It sounds like over-kill but these are different times, and people who are looking for drug money or things they can steal and sell are desperate. Sorry for the long post, but this is important. Feel free to visit our page.