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How We Can Help Money Strapped Cities and Counties Protect Our Homes

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We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Please  be safe and aware that there are people out there looking for ways to rip you off. Property crimes and Assaults always go up this time of the year.

Unfortunately there are many less Police and Sheriff  positions this year to help protect us. In a prior article (How Do You Know That Pepper Spray Works) I wrote about the loss of police officer positions and closure of police departments, due in part to the economy. This national problem is expanding and we have a greater need to find ways to help curb crime for ourselves, the police, and our neighbors.  Below are just a few of the police jurisdictions that have recently lost, or will loose their police force.

Fallowfield, Pa is a town about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh. The police department contract reportedly expires this month. All officers will be laid off at that time.

Bethel, Maine is about 70 miles northwest of Portland has decided to contract to the Oxford County Sherriff’s office and let their police officers go.

Los Angeles County Sheriff is handling police calls that Maywood Police Department officers had been patrolling in this Los Angeles California suburb. The entire department was eliminated this year.

San Luis Colorado, 200 plus miles from Denver, is now being patrolled by the Costilla County Sheriff, because it is more cost effective for San Luis than keeping their own police agency.

Many jurisdictions that can no longer afford their police departments are cutting a large number of officer positions. or contracting with other agencies to take over public safety tasks and patrol. Since contracted agencies are also money strapped, it will not be easy for them to afford to hire extra manpower to take the place of fired officers. This will mean less patrol for those areas and an increase in crime. To cover some of the officer positions needed, special crime teams, such as Narcotics and Gang officers have been cut. This leaves extra tasks to patrol officers already handling more calls for service.

How do we help the police, our neighbors, and ourselves?

You can join or setup a neighborhood watch. Your local police agency can give you all the information.

We have all driven by or have seen something that just didn’t look right in our neighborhood. Be extra eyes and ears for security sake. Know your neighbors and the vehicles that belong in the area where you live.  Have each others’ phone numbers written down and know the names of everyone in the home.

If you see a person or a vehicle that doesn’t belong, try to safely write down the license number and description(s).  If needed later you will have the information. Remember that kids can be burglars too. Gang members can start out at 12 years old or younger and can be lookouts.

Call the neighbor the suspect is near and if there is no answer, or if the person that answers is not your neighbor, hang up and call 911. The idea here is to catch the criminal so please don’t tell suspects that you are going to call the police.

How do you protect your property if you are away?

Tell a trusted neighbor how long you will be away and if you have someone that will be coming over to watch over the residence. If your police agency has a volunteer program, they often will offer to check out your home while you are gone. If your home alarm is the type with an auto dialer as described below, have your trusted neighbor be one of the first calls. When an alarm alerts a neighbor, they can see what is going on and then call the police.

Most criminals look for the easiest home to break into. If you make the criminal think he will get hurt or caught breaking into your home, he/she will most likely look elsewhere. You can check out one of our articles on what a burglar looks for on our blog at

Dogs and alarm systems are a couple of good ways to scare a criminal away.

A dog that sounds vicious will make a criminal think twice about trying to go into your house. You don’t even have to have a real dog. As an example; we at have a low cost electronic dog barking alarm that can make it appear there is a vicious dog in the home.

An alarm system will help protect you and your home. When tripped, most systems will sound a high decibel alarm inside and outside your home. If you have monitoring by an alarm company, they will call you first and ask for a code if the phone is answered. If no code is known or there is no answer, the company will then call the police. An inexpensive alternative is a system with an auto dialer.

These systems, like our wireless home security systems with auto dialer, will allow you to program phone numbers to be called when the alarm is tripped. Although most agencies do not allow these phone dialers to call the police direct, they can call your cell phone, a neighbor, or any other person you wish. They also have other features you can check out here.

It can happen to anyone; even one of our area police Chiefs had a burglary of his home. Luckily he had installed an alarm system and The police were able to respond, track, and arrest the suspects. In this case they were a couple of pre-teens looking for a thrill, guns, and candy. is dedicated to you as a way to help you protect yourself, your family, and home. Check out safety articles on our blog and join our mailing list for more free information. No purchase is necessary.

Be safe out there, and enjoy the season!

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