Home security should be a comprehensive strategy, and your local law enforcement agencies can be a part of that. You may not be aware of some of the home security resources your own local police department or sheriff's office may have. Check out your city or county's website and see if there is a police department page, or a page devoted to crime prevention. You may find that local law enforcement offers services that can help you keep your home more secure. Here are five ways local law enforcement agencies help people with home security
1. By Providing Business and Home Security Surveys
Police in West Carleton Township, Ontario will visit residents at their homes to perform a safety audit and advise residents on how to make their homes safer and better protected against crime.* Police bring a security checklist to go over with the resident and provide a booklet filled with safety and security improvement information, crime prevention tips, and information on other crime prevention initiatives offered by the local police. Setting up a security audit is as simple as calling the local police, asking if they offer such security audits and then requesting one
2. By Offering Free Home Vacation Checks
Police in the city of Rocklin, California provide vacationing residents with free vacation checks while they are away.** While residents are gone, Rocklin police volunteers check on homes regularly and contact them or another designated party if something out of the ordinary is discovered. Many local police departments offer similar vacation check services, and this can be good for increasing peace of mind while you're traveling. Typically you go to your local police department and fill out a form to request this service.
3. By Helping Residents Use Local Crime Statistics to Their Advantage
Tampa Bay police want to arm residents with information on local crime to aid in crime prevention.*** The Tampa Bay Online Crime Tracker is a website that allows people to run queries on local crime by neighborhood to find out which types of crime are most common in a particular neighborhood. By being aware of specific vulnerabilities, residents can not only improve their home security appropriately, they can be of assistance in reporting possible criminal activity to police. If your city doesn't offer a similar crime tracking website, you can use national crime websites to track crime in your area.
4. By Providing Crime Prevention Presentations to Organizations
Students and staff at the University of Texas at Austin can request that the university police give presentations on various crime prevention strategies to clubs or organizations.† For example, the Basic Crime Prevention program is a one-hour presentation on personal and property protection. The Fighting Identity Theft program is designed to raise awareness and prompt action against identity theft. Local law enforcement departments may offer similar presentations where you live. You could request a presentation to your neighborhood watch group or civic club.
5. By Offering Serial Number Engraving for Valuables
The police force at the University of Mary Washington in northwest Virginia is one of many police departments offering free engraving of an owner-assigned number to valuables such as laptop computers and other electronics.†† Typically, the owner of the item assigns a code made up of parts of his or her name and birthdate. While this by itself doesn't help prevent an item from being stolen, it can aid in recovery efforts if the item is found in a pawn shop or storage facility. Police departments offering this service generally require an appointment for having the engraving done.
Why not contact your local police department and ask about services that can help you keep your home safer from burglary? In addition to strong physical security, home security systems and consistent security practices, you may find other ways of helping prevent burglary simply by calling up local law enforcement and asking about crime prevention tools