Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention

There are many things that residents and business owners can do to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime. The following is a list of programs and information related to crime prevention:

Burglary Prevention
Inspect your door locks for the level of security they provide. “Double key” deadbolt door locks offer greater security because you need to use a key to open the lock from the outside and the inside of the door. If a burglar enters your home through a door or window he can leave your home simply by turning a door knob or handle on the inside of a door unless the door is secured with a “double key” door lock. In that case the burglar must use a key or break the lock. If you want to be able to quickly leave your residence in the event of an emergency, leave a key in the inside “double key” deadbolt lock while you are inside your home, but be certain to remove the key when you leave your home.

The length of the “throw” on a deadbolt door lock is critical. The “throw” is the metal bar that extends from the door lock into the doorjamb. The longer the “throw” the more difficult it is for a burglar to break the deadbolt door lock without shattering the doorjamb.

The windows that are easiest for a burglar to defeat are louvered windowpanes. Louvered panes can be easily removed by removing the clips that hold the windowpanes in place.

Consider all the “pros and cons” before deciding to install bars on your windows. If you chose to install window bars be certain that they can be opened easily and quickly from the inside in the event you need to escape a house fire.

Stop newspaper and mail delivery and put the interior lights in your home on a timer while you are away from your home for any extended period.

Keep the trees, bushes, and plants around the immediate perimeter of your home reasonably trimmed to allow more unobstructed views of your home.

Consider installing exterior motion detector lights around the perimeter of your home if you do not live in an environment where the lights will be continually illuminated by animals.

Burglar alarms are an option you might consider installing, but remember that even the most sophisticated and expensive burglar alarms have limitations. The Police Department does not directly receive burglar alarm activations. Alarm notifications are first transmitted to the alarm company, then forwarded to the Police Department, so there is some delay in a police response. As an option, consider simply posting notices or decals on your property or home that your home is alarmed, even if it not. It may not always be successful, but most burglars are interested in targets of opportunity or least resistance and will likely not tempt fate by trying to see if your home really is alarmed.

Be certain that your valuable property is clearly identified and that you maintain a record of that identification in a separate location in case your home is burglarized. The easiest way to maintain a record of your property is with serial numbers. For valuable property without serial numbers consider engraving a unique sequence of numbers and/or letters, not your driver’s license number or Social Security number, on the property. The Police Department can lend you an engraving tool. If the property has no serial number and is too small to engrave with an identification number but it is still valuable and distinctive, for example a piece of expensive jewelry, consider taking a photograph of the property. It is much easier to provide a photograph of a piece of jewelry than to try to describe the jewelry in words. Without a numerical or photographic record of your property it may be very difficult for an investigating officer to identify and return your recovered stolen property to you.

A final point, but certainly one of the most important points- become aware of your neighbors and your neighborhood. Take the time to get to know your neighbors so that you will be aware when something at your neighbor’s home does not seem to be “right.” It probably isn’t. Ask your neighbors to watch your home while you are away and be willing to watch their homes while they are away. Look out for each other. Consider forming or joining a Neighborhood Watch program. Contact the Jenks Police Department at 918-299-6311 for information on the Neighborhood Watch Program.

You can make a difference and you can make your home much more secure.

Holiday Safety
The holiday season is the time of the year for traditional gatherings with family and friends and exchanging gifts that should be joyful and fun-filled occasions. It is also the time of the year when people become rushed and sometimes careless in the hectic pace of shopping and parties. The Jenks Police Department wants everyone in our community to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season by following some simple crime prevention measures.

If you are going to attend a party, have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages. Remember that only time will eliminate alcohol and its effects from your body. Use a designated driver and never drink and drive. The consequences can be deadly to you, a loved one, or an innocent person.

When driving during the holiday season be cautious when driving alone at night. Keep all the doors and windows closed and locked while in or out of your car. If you shop at night, park in a well-lighted area. Try not to park next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with heavily tinted windows. Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside. Do not leave packages visible inside your car. Clearly visible packages are a temptation to potential thieves. Finally, when leaving and approaching your car, be aware of your surroundings. Do not approach your car if there are suspicious persons around it. Instead, contact the local police department or ask mall or store security to escort you to your car.

When shopping, stay alert to your surroundings and people around you. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or a credit card. If you are using an ATM, chose one that is located in a well-lighted area. Shield the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you. That person may be attempting to view your transaction or obtain your PIN. If you don’t feel secure at an ATM, don’t complete your transaction. Move to another ATM at a more secure location. Don’t throw away your ATM receipt at the ATM location.

Notify your credit card company immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused. Keep a record of all your credit card numbers at home in a safe location so you can report stolen or lost credit cards by number.

Avoid overloading yourself with packages. Leave yourself with clear visibility and freedom of movement to avoid potential problems. Try to carry your cash and wallet in a front pocket and your purse or handbag securely around your shoulder.

Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. For that reason, use extra caution when contacting a stranger at the front door of your home. Sometimes scam artists will prey upon the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations either door-to-door or on the telephone for charities that do not exist. Ask for identification. Find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not entirely satisfied, do not donate. Instead, donate to a recognized charity of your choice.

Shopping with children is especially challenging during the holiday season. Teach your children to go to a store clerk, uniform security guard, or Police Officer and ask for help if they become separated from you while shopping. Even more importantly, try to avoid being separated by teaching your children to stay close to you at all times while shopping. Never allow your child to go to the restroom unaccompanied by a responsible older person. Never allow your child to go to the parking lot or car alone. Children should never be left in a car alone while you are shopping, no matter how quickly you plan on returning. Be certain your children know their full name, address, and telephone number to give to a Police Officer or mall security, but only to a Police Officer or mall security. Finally, teach your children to immediately tell you if a stranger is bothering them. And report that information, including a description of the stranger and any vehicle, to the local police department immediately.

If you leave your house, even for a short time, be certain you lock the doors and windows. If you leave your home for an extended time, have a trusted neighbor or family member watch your house. Cancel your newspaper and mail or make arrangements for them to be picked up daily. Set up an automatic timer for indoor and outdoor lights when on vacation at any time, but particularly during the holidays. Consider leaving a radio or television set on in your house so it looks and sounds occupied. Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the doors or windows of your home.

Share these safety tips with family, friends, and neighbors. The men and women of the Arroyo Grande Police Department are providing this safety information to help ensure that everyone in our community enjoys a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season.

Neighborhood Watch / Business Watch
The Jenks Police Department has specific employees designated to focus on developing, coordinating, and implementing crime prevention programs such as Neighborhood Watch. If your home-owners group or neighborhood doesn’t currently have an organized Neighborhood Watch, feel free to contact our offices to find out how to get more information on setting one up. 

Personal Safety Tips
Jenks Police Department’s rate of violent crime is low and has been low for some time. For the Jenks Police Department to be successful in keeping that rate of violent crime so low, everyone in our community needs to work with us by being careful, being vigilant, and taking common sense precautions in safeguarding their personal safety.

Walk confidently and assertively, remaining alert to your surroundings and taking notice of anyone who passes you or who is behind you. Awareness of your surroundings and having a plan for responding to a threat are probably the two most important elements in personal safety. Try not to walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when it is dark and the streets or paths are more likely to be deserted; instead, walk or jog in well-lighted areas and try to have a companion with you. If you must walk in dark or deserted neighborhoods, walk down the middle of the street if the lack of vehicular traffic allows you to do that safely.

Avoid walking or jogging close to bushes, alleys, and any area that might offer someone a place of concealment. If a vehicle drives slowly along side you, or if the occupants of a vehicle bother you or attempt to engage you in conversation or ask directions, reply from a distance. Never get too close to the vehicle. If the occupants of the vehicle continue to follow or bother you, cross the street and walk or run in the opposite direction.

If you think someone is following you, turn around and check. Switch directions or cross the street. If you are still being followed, walk or run to the nearest lighted house or place of business. If you feel you are in danger, don’t be afraid to make as much noise as possible by screaming for help and running. Sometimes yelling “Fire!” as a last resort has more impact in attracting attention and help.

Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement. Carry a whistle or personal safety device. If you carry a purse, hold it close to your body. Keep your wallet in a front or buttoned hip pocket. Carry as little cash as possible, only the money you will likely need on a particular day. Don’t display your cash or other inviting targets like pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry or clothing.

Don’t overburden yourself with bags or packages that might hinder your ability to run or protect yourself. If you are loading your vehicle, take several loads to the vehicle if necessary. Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and other people. Always lock the vehicle doors and take the keys when you leave your vehicle, even if only for a few minutes and even in your own driveway. Never leave your vehicle motor running when you are not in your vehicle. Don’t leave valuable items clearly visible inside your vehicle. Make sure you have your key out and readily available as you approach your vehicle when returning to it. Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your vehicle or to keep a stranger from forcing you into another vehicle. Check the backseat of your vehicle before you enter the vehicle just in case someone has managed to get into your vehicle and is trying to hide.

If you notice someone you think is following you when you are driving, drive immediately to the nearest busy, brightly lighted area such as a gas station, fast food store, or a fire station. Do not continue to drive to your original destination and do not drive home. Write down the license plate, make, model, and color of the vehicle. Call “911” immediately. If the vehicle leaves the area, provide a direction of travel to the “911” operator.

Most importantly, if you are unsuccessful in avoiding a robbery or assault and someone tries to rob you, giving up your property may be your best chance to survive the attack. Property can be replaced. Don’t give up your life. If you decide instead to resist or fight your attacker, remember that is your decision. That decision must be made based on how you believe your attacker will respond if you resist or fight. You may be successful in resisting or fighting. Or you may provoke a more violent response from your attacker. Only you are in the position of weighing those options. If you resist or fight, be creative. Use anything, any object, or any tactic that you think will help you. You must be willing to do or use anything to survive once you make that decision to resist or fight. You must be fully committed not only physically but mentally to survive through any means.

If you would like additional information regarding personal safety, the National Crime Prevention Council has a wealth of information on its website or you may contact the Jenks Police Department at (918) 299-6311.