Situational Awareness: Remember to practice and sharpen your situational awareness skills — being aware of who is around you and what they are doing. Limit carrying parcels, bags, purses and put that mobile device away! Stay alert when pulling into a parking space for who is around the parking lot and what are they doing — does it appear that they have legitimate reasons to be there or are conducting legitimate business at the establishment? If not, report this to the business — they can offer you an escort to your vehicle if you are already inside and any business that cares about their bottom line will want to make sure customers arriving feel safe to be there and can address issues if need be. When leaving the store, bank, ATM, etc. put the cash away, put the cell phone away out of view, and limit distractions. You should be scanning the area before you walk out into a parking area or similar place. Watch for anyone who appears to be following you home — if you feel this is the case, go to a well-traveled, well-lit area and go inside and get help or call 242-COPS or 911 as appropriate from your parked and locked up vehicle in a place where you are visible to passers-by.
If at home, keep those doors and windows secured — summer time seems to be more relaxed and we have to keep those skills sharp. Secure that garage door — it’s the biggest door to your home. Some leave theirs open for hours on end and this habit is dangerous. Some leave the garage door open while working on the yard, and it really needs to be closed. Anyone can get inside in seconds and have access to you, your family, your home, your vehicles, tools, etc. Keep the deadbolt locked on the door that leads from the garage into the home. Watch what is going on around you on the street if you are working in the yard or on the house — if you don’t like the looks of things, go inside and call 242-COPS (2677) from a safe place and ask for an officer to be dispatched. Just give the best description you can and the reason why the person/vehicle appears to be suspicious. Remember — never chase, follow or confront — that’s for our highly trained police officers to do and your role is to be extra eyes and ears on the block for those officers. Neighbors looking out for one another is the best prevention of all — just simple good, common sense and caring about each other will reduce everyone’s odds of being a victim.
Be safe everyone,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command