Ann Harkins: Hi! I am Ann Harkins, President and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council. Today, I would like to talk to you about keeping your community safe.
Recent FBI figures tell us crime rates in the United States have decreased in the last two decades, but decreased doesn't mean, disappeared. We have to remember the ongoing work we have to do to maintain low crime rates for the long haul.
So what can you do to keep your family and your neighborhood safe? There are plenty of ways you can contribute to a safer community. One is to participate in our Celebrate Safe Communities initiative which works to raise awareness and provide resources on community safety.
Many events are held in October during crime prevention month. They range from a park cleanup or a block party to open houses at the police department that help you build a better relationship with local law enforcement.
You can plan or register your own Celebrate Safe Communities event on the National Crime Prevention Council website. Visit celebratesafecommunities.
org to learn more. There are several other simple and easy ways for you to take a bite out of crime in your community.
Invite local law enforcement to give crime prevention seminars at your neighborhood watch or home owner association meetings. Keep your kids safe and watch out for neighborhood kids as well.
Teach kids the safe routes to in from school and to popular parks or other places they play. Know where they are, get to know their friends and help them learn important phone numbers.
Encourage your kids to talk through problems instead of fighting and teach them how to avoid bullies, being taunted by one or being one. Set the right example for your kids by using positive conflict management yourself.
Finally, make your neighborhood a welcoming one. Embrace diversity and celebrate it. Translate crime prevention literature into other languages for non-English speakers in your community. All community members including children and youth should be part of safety efforts.
Law enforcement does a great job protecting all of us from crime. Protecting the community also requires partnership between a neighborhood and its local law enforcement agencies.
Your neighborhood should be more than just a place you live. By working together, we can help prevent crime and create stronger communities.