This program is designed to strengthen community spirit and build support for crime prevention. Program helps build positive bonds between the community and law enforcement, whose previous interactions may have been largely negative.
The key to the program is day-to-day, one-on-one interaction between a deputy and a community. The deputy serves as a positive role model, and at the same time, the community gets to know the deputy as a human being, not just as a law enforcement officer. The deputy will follow and track reports taken in his/her community, trying to use a proactive approach when dealing with problems and families within the community.
A deputy with experience and knowledge in community safety and crime prevention strategies will be assigned to work in partnership with a community. Communities will be selected on a need basis or on requests by communities. The deputy will have his/her community assigned to their patrol area. Arrangements will be made by the deputy to attend monthly meetings held within the community. These would include:
- City Council
- Fire and Rescue
- Senior Citizens
- Community Groups
The deputy will emphasize the need for community action and involvement to reduce crime. To meet this challenge the deputy must join with teachers, youth workers, clergy and other community leaders to change the attitudes, beliefs and expectations, advocating that the prevention approach costs less then dealing with crime after the fact in terms cash, expenses and human suffering. Crime prevention strategies provide an extraordinary base for community action by identifying suspects, reducing crime, building close relationships and trust between law enforcement and citizens.
By establishing a positive rapport between the school community and the law enforcement profession, we can offer programs like:
- Mc Gruff
- Bike Safety
These programs will enable a deputy to spend valuable time interacting one-on-one or in small groups with students. This will foster a more trusting relationship between students and a deputy based on friendship and respect. The student will learn to view a deputy as a friend instead of someone to be afraid of.
There is emphasis on involving the citizens in decision making and recommending more community activities for young people, setting standards of cooperation and a respect for the community, as an alternative way to prevent crime and violence. A few examples:
- Block parties
- After School gym
- Open evening gym
- All-night sleep over
- Poster and essay contests
- Safety fairs.
Citizens will also identify prevention programs that will work for their community. The deputy will assist with organizing of a Neighborhood Watch Program and explaining how the Operation Identification Program works.
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A Partnership That Addresses Crime and Safety Issues Of The Elderly
Cass County TRIAD is a three way commitment among Chiefs of Police, the Sheriff and older or retired leaders. They work together to reduce the criminal victimization of the elderly and enhance the delivery of law enforcement services to older persons.
The Triad relationship was formed when three national organizations - American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)and National Sheriff's Association(NSA) - signed a cooperative agreement.
These three well respected national organizations agreed that the crime-related needs of the elderly could best be met by a cooperative effort.
The engine that drives TRIAD is the S.A.L.T. Council (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together).
S.A.L.T. Councils includes key representatives of the local police departments, the sheriff's office, AARP and other senior organizations, RSVP, service providers, hospitals, the business community, clergy and other agencies involved in, or interested in helping the elderly. The S.A.L.T. Council assesses and addresses the needs and concerns of the elderly in the community and collaboratively develops ways to meet those needs. We have two programs that are offered to the elderly in the Cass County area through TRIAD:
File of Life - a magnetic card holder that is attached to your refrigerator or the smaller pocket version which can be carried in your wallet or purse. Emergency First Responders have been alerted to look for this holder. It contains the following:
- Your Name and Address
- Doctor and Phone Number
- Emergency Contact
- Insurance and Policy Number
- Medical Conditions
A Home Security Light has been distributed to home owners in the urban and rural areas for the past three years. We plan to continue presenting these lights at events in which Triad takes part. The socket fits into an ordinary light fixture and can be used as a regular porch light when turned on. During an emergency, if the switch is turned off and back on again, it begins to flash guiding the police or ambulance to the correct residence. For safety sake, the light will come on each night to give a lived-in look to discourage burglars. Triad has given many of these away to people attending Police Safety Academies.
Senior Safety Academy - was created by TRIAD specifically to address crime and safety issues that affect older citizens. Those attending will discover how they can recognize and react to many of the problems encountered on a daily basis.
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A program to protect your home, property and prevent theft and burglary by permanently marking and registering valuable property and notifying potential thieves that this action has been taken. The program has proven to be dramatically effective in reducing burglary in cities where it has been properly implemented.
Operation Identification has two parts. First, you mark all your easily stolen valuables so that they can be identified as yours. Second, you are given decals to place on your doors and/or windows serving notice to burglars that your valuables are marked for identification by any law enforcement agency.
What makes Operations Identification so effective is that easily identified property is hard for a burglar to trade or sell. It can be traced back to you. And if the burglar is caught with it in his possession, it is solid evidence of possession of stolen goods.
You are given a Permanent Identification Number (PIN), registered with your local law enforcement agency. You will mark your PIN number on your valuables near the manufacturer's serial number where it cannot be removed; otherwise, on any location that will not destroy the value of the item. Your number will then be registered as identification with the entire United States through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
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Neighborhood Watch or Crime Watch, as practiced in most areas of the nation, is based on a model developed in 1972 by the National Sheriff's Association. The National Neighborhood Watch Program was developed in response to requests from Sheriffs and Police Chiefs for a program which would stem the dramatically increasing rate of burglary in the United States.
The program concept evolved from the experiences of localities across the country which was encouraged citizens to help law enforcement fight crime by being more observant of suspicious or criminal activity and then reporting that activity to appropriate authorities.
The Sheriff's Association recognized that changes in lifestyles were making neighborhoods less secure and more vulnerable to crime. Factors such as households where both husband and wife are employed, transience resulting from job transfers, mobility and freedom provided by automobiles, the growing popularity of apartment living, and others, wee causing many persons to become strangers to their neighbors. many neighborhoods become deserted during the day and often when people where at home, they were not aware or concerned enough to take action when suspicious activity or a crime took place.
Neighborhood Watch is:
- Active citizen participation in a community crime prevention program that is coordinated with law enforcement.
- Taking steps to make home and property more secure by removing the crime of opportunity.
- Providing information to law enforcement which may be helpful in making an arrest.
How is Neighborhood Watch Structured?
The volunteer network includes:
- Law Enforcement
- Block Captain - A neighborhood volunteer that receives and disseminates information to Neighborhood Watch Members.
- Neighborhood Watch Members - Citizens interested in preventing crime and making their neighborhood a safer place to live, work and play.
- Canvas your neighborhood for interest.
- Discuss crime problems in your area.
- Briefly explain the value of Neighborhood Watch Programs.
- Neighborhood Watchers are from all walks of life.
- Neighborhood watch knows no color, religious, nationality or economic dividing lines.
Neighborhood Watch does not require frequent meetings. Be observant. Keep watch on neighbors, homes and report suspicious activities to neighbors and law enforcement when appropriate. Write down and report license numbers and description of suspicious looking persons and vehicles in the neighborhood. It does not ask that anyone take personal risks to prevent crime. Neighborhood Watch leaves the responsibility for apprehending criminals where it belongs, with Law Enforcement.
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