Atlantans Together Anti-Crime Rally

Ok- did it feel like 26degrees out or what? It was FREEZING!  Although I’m glad we didn’t let that stop us!  It was cold, but my girls and I headed out to represent 🙂  The rally was a success and drew people from all over- Grant Park, College Park.. .. B.T.W. was shining;it was a wonderful way to end the day.

Security Cameras; Neighborhood Watch

Intown South West communities ban together, fight and reclaim their neighborhoods!   Security Camera’s, the hot topic and weapon of choice, are working in conjunction with  faithful “granny in the window” techniques to help deter crime and police catch a thief.  While some remain skeptical of the new technology being introduced, others welcome with open arms.  All agree something must be done to deter criminal activity which is usually higher around the holiday season.

One thing is clear- crime is not taken lightly in these neighborhoods.  Neighborhood walks, Private security, foot patrol and reports on specific activity is in effect. We are watching YOU- watching us.

Criminals beware, Granny is watching, and for what granny can not see… “Smile, you’re on candid camera!”

*Special thanks to Chen of Beecher-Donnelly Community Association for his assistance, time and tutorial in helping West End go high tech!! 

All West End, Westview, Beecher-Donnelly, Booker T Washington and Asheview Heights residents interested in participating please contact me  or comment  for further details on how to get involved and your system.  Your inquiry will be sent to appropriate public safety officer, association chairs. Additional tutorials and presentations will be arranged.

Safety Tips from the Westview Community

1. Get a Dog. These motion activated barking devices are probably the single biggest deterrent to burglaries in our community. Advertise the presence of your dog. Leave a dog bowl and bone on the porch.

2. Get a Burglar Alarm. Purchase a burglar alarm system with some sort of siren or noise-making device. Once a siren goes off, most criminals depart immediately. Having the alarm connected to a monitoring service is a good idea, but it is far more important to just have a system which makes noise. Also consider purchasing a battery back up so that your alarm will function in the event of a loss of power, such as your power meter being torn off of your house by a burglar. You can purchase a cellular phone back up for your alarm system so that by severing your phone wires, the alarm can still call the police. See the Additional Information Section on Burglar Alarms.

3. Use your Burglar Alarm. Always turn your alarm on when you leave your home, even if it is for one minute. When you are in your house for an extended period of time, anything over 30 minutes, turn your alarm to instant on.

4. Advertise your Burglar Alarm. Use signs and stickers to let folks know that you have a burglar alarm in operation. Put a sign in your front yard and stickers on the windows around your house.

5. Always Lock Your House. Even if you are only going to be out for a minute.

6. Keep your House Well lit.

a. Keep your porch light on. Criminals don’t like light. The brighter your home is, the less likely a criminal is to come calling.

b. Use Motion-Activated Lights. Purchase motion activated lights and place them in front of and on the sides of your home. Make it as challenging as possible to approach your house without tripping the lights.

c. Make Sure That All Required Street Lights Are Installed. The City of Atlanta installs street lights every 500′.

d. Report any non-operating Street Lights. Phone 888-891-0938 (pick option No. 3) or go to the following URL: https://customerser vice.southerncom pany.com/ residential/ outage_st. asp?mnuOpco=gpc&mnuType= res&mnuItem= ma

e. Install Additional Street Lighting. If you really want to light your place up, call Georgia Power and ask them to install a street light in front of your house. It only costs a $10 or $20 a month and can make a huge difference, particularly if you live on the end of a street. The number for this is (770) 322-5713.

7. Never leave anything in your car. Ever. Value has nothing to do with it. If it is raining outside and then your umbrella in the car has value to a criminal.

8. Park your car in your driveway near your house. Cars parked away from the street are less likely to be broken in to.

9. Don’t Advertise Your Possessions. Keep any windows which are visible from the street/sidewalk obscured to the extent that people cannot look inside and see your nice TV or stereo. Don’t throw away anything that would entice a burglar, take it to a dumpster or some other location.

10. Get to Know Your Neighbors. One of the best defense mechanisms is your community. If your neighbors know when you come and go, they can tell if something strange is happening. Ask your neighbors to call 911 if they see anything unusual at your house.

11. Don’t Hide Keys Outside. Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys. Leave your keys with your neighbors.

12. Secure Items Outside of House. Don’t leave anything lying around your yard or your porch that is easily removed. Keep your shed locked. Keep tools inside your locked shed. If you have a grill or lawn mover in an unlocked area, chain it with a lock to something immovable. Anything you secure outside your house is much safer if it is not visible from the street. Please see the additional information on Padlocks and Chains.

13. Remove Cover. Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce places where burglars can approach your house without being seen. Utilize the 3-foot/6-foot rule. Trim tree branches up to 6 feet off the ground and trim your shrubs down to 3 feet. This creates a “window effect” into your yard and minimizes hiding places for burglars.

14. Secure the windows in your house. Install some type of additional locking mechanism on all ground-floor windows. See the additional information regarding the type of window locking mechanism you should consider.

15. Secure the Doors in Your House. Get solid core or steel exterior doors with reinforced strike plates, and deadbolt locks. Make sure that they are all properly installed. See the additional information regarding the type of door and lock you should consider.

16. Don’t open your door unless you know the person on the other side. Require identification otherwise. Have a peephole in your door.

17. If you see anything suspicious, call 911. We were all raised to think of 911 as the life or death number, but here in Atlanta, it is the way the police get sent out on all calls. If the police are busy with a higher priority call, they will deal with that first. If there is nothing to worry about, then nothing is lost as the police will just move on.

18. If you have concerns which are not immediate, call Zone Four. Call Zone Four at 404- 756-1903 and ask to speak to the Unit Commander, Major Perdue or email him at mperdue@atlantaga.gov. You can meet him in person or convey your information to him another way, but let him know your concerns and they will be addressed. If you can’t reach Major Perdue ask for Lt. Cox.

19. Report All Crimes. In the City, police resources are allocated based on need and one of the best indicators of need is reported crimes. Therefore, no theft is too small to report, even if it is a rake or plant from your front yard.

20. Get to Know your Beat Officer. If you want to meet your beat officer, call Zone Four at 404- 756-1903 and ask to speak to the Unit Commander, Major Perdue or email him at mperdue@atlantaga.gov.

21. When your home is going to be vacant overnight, tell the police via a Directed Patrol Request Form. This way your beat officer will know who, if anyone, should be at your house.

22. Inventory of Possessions. Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.

According to a study by the California Crime Technological Research Foundation, the most common techniques used by burglars to enter single-family homes are (from most often used to least often used):

 

32.00% Through unlocked window or door

26.64% Forced entry by impacts

24.02% Prying or jimmying

6.79% Use of pass key or picking the lock

5.10% Entry attempted, but failed

5.45% Other or unknown

According to the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), homes without alarms are three times more likely to be burglarized.

Which station has Gas??

Suggestion to help us all-I saw this on East Atlanta Village usergroup.  

You can post it here or within your neighborhood’s usergroup but post the Station Name/ Station Address-Location/ Date & Time of Gas Purchase/Cost Per Gallon in the Subject line of emails or posts so that we can all stay current on where there is gas around our neighborhood.

For example if you purchase gas at the Exxon Station at the corner of
Oak & Joseph Lowery on Sept 27th at 10:00 AM and paid $4/Gallon the Subject
Line of your email/ post would look like this:

Exxon/Oak& J Lowery /Sept 27th 10:00 AM/$4.00

This way we could easily see where people were finding gas and all other relevant information, without even having to open up the email.

(Thanks Ed Gilgor of EAV, I hope you don’t mind us copying your idea! )

Neighborhood Watch

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending “Block Captain’s Training” /Neighborhood Watch Training at City Hall East.

The facilitator is Director Juanita Mention-Smith. The training is a joint effort between Councilwoman Cleta Winslow and the Community Service Unit of the Atlanta Police Department. While I will not bore you with the many raw details and discussions various community neighbors and leaders had- it was very clear that many of our city neighborhoods are in need of healing. I think this is known and the efforts of the Police Department and Councilwoman to bring us together and provide a foundation for us to begin is commendable.

Firstly, it was good to see the many ethnicities and a wide age group of people who showed up on a Saturday morning with the agenda of “taking back” their neighborhood and putting a stop to violent crimes and the drugs. Some of the name tags I saw were of people from; Summer hill, Mechanicsville, East Atlanta, Vine City, Mosley Park, and of course Historic West End represented- some known residents Vonda Henry and John Pavlin…

Secondly, the session was VERY informative.

And lastly, the session was conducted very well. We were provided with a light breakfast, and a nice lunch. The director made sure we stayed on time, while answering AS MANY questions asked…AND listening to MANY complainants about the APD, posing as a question. I applauded her patience; while I tried to refrain myself from screaming “We are not hear to listen to what your association is not doing….” As I said, it was a very interesting class. While I do understand, that all neighborhoods have somethings that all will not agree on…the session made me appreciate MY neighborhood and the association even more. I can’t speak for everyone here, but the way I see it, we pretty much are all striving for the same thing in one form or another. Safety, historical & architectural preservation, property value appreciation, community involvement, and caring neighbors.

The below information is partially taken from our Neighborhood Watch handbook and is provided to be informative for those interested in learning a little more about Neighborhood Watch.

What a Neighborhood Watch is…….

Just when I thought it was an opportunity for me to walk up and down the street bossing people around 🙂 We were given the correct meaning of what a neighborhood watch really is:

1)“A Program of mutual assistance among neighbors aimed at reducing crime in our communities at the grass roots level. A neighborhood is where people are alert to the potential of crime and are willing to lookout for one another’s interests in a neigborhood where crimes are least likely to occur.”

2)” An invitation to you to be a good neighbor. Good neighbors working together through Neighborhood Watch can prevent crimes in their area the most effective way-before it starts!”

3)“A Crime Prevention Program which enlists the active participation of citizens in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime in their communities.”

4)“Citizens being trained to recognize and report suspicious and criminal activties in their neighborhoods such as burglary, larceny, vandalism and littering.”

First thing first- Get to know your neighbors!!!!! And as our facilitator said, don’t mind being considered that nosy neighbor- you will be thanked later!

Tip:

Do not leave your porch light on during the day- invest in a timer to automatically turn it on. While you’re at work this is a sign that there is no one home-and probably no one coming home until after dark.