October is National Crime Prevention Month. This is a good month to learn and take advantage of programs that the Baltimore County Police Department offers to help Baltimore citizens prevent crime.
Baltimore citizens, for example, can contact their precinct, within the Baltimore County Police Department, to take advantage of the programs offered by the Community Outreach Team (COT). These programs will give citizens access to 18 different crime prevention programs that cover:
1. Crime Prevention through Environmental Design – Residential, Commercial, and School Designs.
2. Security Lighting.
3. Personal Security.
4. Vehicle Theft and Carjacking Prevention.
5. Neighborhood Watch link.
6. Citizens on Patrol link.
7. Operation Identification.
8. Fraud, Scams and Swindles, Telemarketing, Bunco Games, and Identity Theft Prevention.
9. Home and Business Security link.
10. Employee Theft and Shoplifting Prevention.
11. Robbery Prevention link.
12. Vacation Safety Tips and Safe Travel Recommendations.
13. Computer Security.
14. Preventing Handgun Violence.
15. McGruff the Crime Dog.
16. Child Stranger Danger.
17. Officer Friendly.
18. Child Safety.
Within the Baltimore County Police Department, the Police Community Relations Council offers activities such as:
1. The “Ride Along” program that allows community precinct members to observe police officers in action and to get to know them.
2. Monthly Council meetings that resolve problems and forge cooperation between the community and the police department.
The Baltimore County Police Department recently also has started the iWatch program which gives residents crime information through e-mail subscriptions. This program also facilitates the ability of citizens to provide the police with crime tips and non-emergency complaints.
In addition, the department has the cable TV program, Police Report, an interactive Facebook page and a Twitter news alert system.
Furthermore, there is a special program for small, local businesses. Business Beat Online is a free monthly publication sent to small business owners by email. This publication contains useful crime prevention tips geared toward small businesses.
Close cooperation between a community and its law enforcement agencies can significantly improve the safety of a community. National Crime Prevention Month is an appropriate time to build such cooperation.