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Community Policing and Nuisance Crimes

Community Policing and Nuisance Crimes

What are nuisance crimes, and is the community responsible for curbing these types of crimes?

 

Some people think of a nuisance as something annoying that can be tolerated to a point. The definition of nuisance according to Dictionary.com is “something offensive or annoying to individuals or the community, especially in violation of their legal rights.” People should know that in most cases there are laws against public irritations. Therefore, committing an act of a public nuisance is a crime. Examples of criminal acts of public annoyance are vandalism, graffiti and illegal dumping.

 

Definitions according to Dictionary.com

 

Vandalism is “deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property.”

 

Graffiti is “markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building, public restroom or the like.”

 

Illegal is “forbidden by law or statute.” Dumping is “to unload or empty out (a container), as by tilting or overturning.

 

Most people would agree the examples above are annoying and in some cases downright oppressive, depriving the community of health and happiness. If the community does not take responsibly the problem will remain.  When a community takes ownership and decides to do something, Community Policing is born.

 

Community Policing is where individuals or organized groups work with Law enforcement to solve a problem that is tasking the community. The people and businesses who reside and work within neighborhoods partner with city officials and the police to change the atmosphere of their city. The U.S. Department of Justice has identified key players in Community Policing as “Government Agencies, Community Members/Groups, Nonprofits/Service Providers, Private Businesses and the Media.” Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has provided a useful tool in implementing Community Policing in your neighborhood. All parties who care about their city  should read this and begin to solve the problems their city is facing.

 

School Safety in the Beholder’s Hands

School Safety in the Beholder’s Hands

School safety has improved with modern technology. Camera systems, target hardening (strengthening the target), and other crime prevention systems will not secure schools if they are not used properly. One may think that technology is better, therefore the security will be better, but that is only if the beholder uses the security systems properly.

As it states in the Police Chief Magazine, “As good as modern security technology is, it cannot replace common-sense systems of visitor and vender control.” Police Chief Magazine suggests that schools should use both “technology and CPTED” for school security. CPTED is an advanced principle that stands for crime prevention through environmental design. CPTED has been a proven effective method of crime prevention, but is only as good as the beholder’s judgement.

Effective crime prevention tools can provide school safety only when the right people are in place. Tools like crime prevention are good but the person has to use them correctly. Proper training and having the correct people using the tools can make effective use of modern technology. Structures like CPTED are good, but criminals can still find a way in, and it is necessary for administrators and security officers to be aware of the limitations and use good judgment accordingly.

When the right resource officers and school administrators are in place and are trained correctly, tools like crime prevention camera systems can be proven as an effective tool for school safety.

Parks- Prevent Illegal Activity at the Pool

Parks- Prevent Illegal Activity at the Pool

Spring is in the air, and summer is just around the corner.  Is your Parks and Recreation Center ready for the influx of pool attendees of the newly remodeled pool?  What about after hours?  Does the pool area have adequate protections, such as fencing and alarms, to keep mischief away before it turns into a tragedy?

According to the Red Cross, “over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year.”  And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning.”, CDCP also states, “non fatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage.” Every death and accident is a tragedy but even more so if it could have been prevented.

When summer heat is upon us, everybody will be heading to the pool.  And when the crowd goes home, the teens find their way back, still looking for relief from the summer heat.  They will be jumping the fences and thinking it is an adventure to swim in the dark of the shadows.  Sometimes this illegal trespassing activity will include alcohol, which will most likely increase the chance that someone will get hurt.

Some protections that will help include:

  • Signs: Warnings posted that trespassing is illegal
  • Fencing: High enough that will deter most intruders
  • Lighting: To expose the illegal activity
  • Alarms: To scare the intruder away and bring awareness to the illegal activity
  • Cameras: To capture the intruders on film to deter the illegal activity or if needed prosecute

 

  • The deterrent features should change the behavior of anyone seeking adventure, making the illegal activity not so “fun”.

What safety deterrent features does your pool have?  Is your pool ready for the summer rush? Don’t let the illegal trespassing risk ruin your summer.  Learn what you can do to Protect your Pool and prevent illegal activity.

School Lockers

The Cost of School Safety

School safety can be very costly. For example, security night guards on the low end, could cost a school around $30,000-$40,000 each year.  This is assuming that at least one officer is paid full-time for each night annually at $10- $15/hour.

Most school districts have more than one school, which could mean for three schools the annual cost could jump to $90,000- $120,000. This is the cost for night patrols only.  A 24/7 patrol could cost a school $270,000-$360,000 for one officer per a school. If a school adds armed guards,  then that number is higher because the average police officer makes $58,000 annually. The cost of human resources can be expensive, however, school safety technologies are costly as well.

Technology may be less expensive over time, but it still costs the school a decent amount of money. According to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research (OLR), titled “School Security Technologies”,  a single low end camera cost around $500 to $1,000, and a high resolution camera can cost around $8,000. Most schools have more than one camera. OLR estimates for a small elementary school the cost for cameras is around $20,000 to $30,000, and for a large high school, it is around $200,000. This does not include other School Safety items such as: scan cards, alarms, electronic databases, videotaping, and remote access for doorways.  And most likely, does not include the cost to run the camera such as the electricity, the networking , or the monitoring.  A more modern technology system can cost as much as $400,000.

It is hard to track school annual budgets for security nationally because most schools do not have a separate assigned budget code. However, Education Week estimates the “market for security systems integration in educational institutions is predicted to expand to $4.9 billion in 2017, an 81.5 percent increase from $2.7 billion last year”.

The cost of school safety is expensive, but there is no comparison to the value of children’s lives.  Let us make the lives of children a priority, by placing school security into the 2017 budget.