Crime Prevention Tips

Start a Neighborhood Watch Program

Captain Michael Bettikofer
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Residential Burglary Prevention
We hear the phrase often about the "good old days"... One of the things that is
definitely different today are incidents of crime in our neighborhoods. We
encourage you to take proactive steps to reduce the opportunity for a criminal to enter your home. Make sure that all exterior doors have sturdy, well installed dead-bolt locks. Regular key in the knob locks alone are not enough.

Sliding glass doors can be secured by installing commercial locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam the door. To prevent the door from being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the slide door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole.

Lock the double-hung windows with key locks or "pin" your windows by drilling a small hole into 45 degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed.

Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give an extra key to an neighbor you trust. When you move into a new house, re-key the locks. Thieves hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night. Invest in timers to turn the lights off and on automatically.

Burglary Prevention Tips for Retail Establishments

Upgrading your present security measures will decrease the opportunity for the criminal element to enter your premises and, if the neighboring retail establishments also incorporate target hardening techniques it will impact the overall security of the area.

Upgrade External Security
  • Strengthen locks and reinforce doors.
  • Install strengthened glass, shutters, or grilles in windows.
  • Monitor possible entry points with video cameras & lighting.
  • Install concrete pillars or decorative planters to prevent vehicles from driving through doors or display windows.
  • Install or upgrade your current burglar alarms
Upgrade Interior Security
  • Remove high-value goods from window displays.
  • Minimize stock with "just in time" deliveries.
  • Use secure cages or safes for the most valuable items in stockrooms.
  • Bank each cash day (alternate deposit times)
  • When closing, cut off power to loading bay doors, and make sure other doors and windows cannot be opened from the inside, leave empty cash registers open (to prevent their being broken into).
  • Screen and train staff in security measures.
Use Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.

(Changing landscaping & design to discourage illegal access).

Church Safety Christian Security Network

Another thing that is different today is incidents of crime involving churches.
We encourage you to take proactive steps to reduce the opportunities for criminal encounters to occur on your church grounds.

Exterior Security
  • Install additional lighting in parking lots and entryway if areas are poorly lit.
  • To prevent hiding places, keep the shrubbery trimmed away from doors and windows.
  • Install solid wood or sheet metal faced doors.
  • Check all windows for defective locking devices that need replacement or repair.
Key Control
  • Maintain an accurate key distribution list. Check with keyholders periodically to identify lost or stolen keys.
  • Consider changing the locks every 3-5 years and reissue keys.
  • Create a user form to track who is in the church and list the responsible keyholder. Ideally, one person should open and close the church to eliminate the need for excessive keys being distributed.
Church Safety Team
  • Ask neighboring residents and businesses to join you in establishing a community watch.
  • Form a safety team to assess the overall security of the church.
  • Designate safety monitors to check on the church periodically.
  • Engrave all valuables with an identifiable number and record your inventory.
Robbery Prevention

If you think you are being followed, cross the street, walk quickly or run to a busy store, restaurant, gas station or lighted house.

If a car is following you, turn and run in the opposite direction. If you suspect that you are being followed while driving, don't drive home!

Go to the nearest police station, fire station, or business. Blow your horn to draw attention to your vehicle while driving up to the location.

Nothing that you carry in your purse or wallet is worth your life! If robbed, stay calm and don't resist!

Get a good description of the attacker and call the Police immediately.

If you are in a dark area, you can't see if someone is hiding behind shrubbery, trees or other obstructions. At home install additional exterior lighting and keep shrubbery at windowsill level and trees trimmed to prevent hiding places.

While walking, do not take shortcuts through wooded or isolated areas, alleys, and dark, poorly lit areas. Plan your route. If the area is unfamiliar to you, consider walking with a friend or traveling by car. if approached by a stranger, maintain the distance of an arm's length. Project and no-nonsense attitude and quickly walk away. Move with confidence and stay alert!

We have all been told at one time or another to take a moment out of our hectic schedules to enjoy the small things around us... the sunset... dew on the grass... a child's smile... a loved one's laughter... and of course the sight and smell of beautiful roses. Paying attention to our surroundings is also a key element in robbery prevention.

Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Criminals count on you being preoccupied with shopping, banking or getting in/out of your vehicle instead of paying attention to them. Take a moment to observe who is in the parking area or close to the building before you exit your car. Does it make sense to walk past someone just standing around?