NHPA would like to send a HUGE congratulations to Captain Tommi Lyter on being promoted to Chief of the Pensacola Police Department and thank him and his amazing team of officers and staff who take the time to work with the Board of Directors to help us keep North Hill safe.
Here are some highlights of his discussion with us:
1. The Holidays are here and with it the usual rise in crimes of opportunity. Folks have a lot on their minds this time of year and they start forgetting their safety measures (forgetting to lock the car, leaving Christmas presents visible in the car, forgetting to lock their home doors, windows, and storage sheds; going out of town and forgetting to have the mail held…..so thieves know you aren’t home). The Holiday Season also brings with it a rise in thefts from ‘porch pirates’ who follow mail trucks and take packages off of porches. Consider having expensive items shipped to your office or if you are using smart apps on your phone and you know when a package will be delivered, consider asking a nearby neighbor to retrieve it from your porch and hold till you get home. Make sure that you record the serial numbers of expensive items in your home inventory and take pictures of jewelry etc. It helps in the recovery process and getting these items back to you if they are stolen and taken to a pawn shop. If you are going out of town for the holidays, use timers on your lights, have your mail held, and let a neighbor know your plans so they can keep an extra eye out. The Police Department will also do drive-by’s to check on your property if you register with them.
2. Practice “Target Hardening”. Review your home security. Find your weak areas and harden them. Make sure you are using those security features that you already possess (deadbolts, home security systems, car alarms). Look at what needs to be improved (visibility from the street, make sure your bushes aren’t so high that neighbors can not see if someone is outside your house, use your exterior lights on your porches, motion lighting, timers on lights when away, etc.)
4. Be SMART about who you hire to perform work at your home. Get their names, look them up on-line to make sure you aren’t giving people with criminal histories of burglary (or worse) access to your home and family. Some helpful sites for research:
www.escambiaclerk.com (Escambia County Clerk of Court) and
www.escambiaso.com (Escambia County Sheriff’s Offices Public Records)
www.crimereports.com (Track crime incidents and registered predators in your area/register for e-mail reports)
AND HIS MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Look out for your neighbors. Neighborhood watch is not a small group of patrol shifts, but an ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD being on the look out every trip we make from our homes, to school, to work, to exercise, to shop, etc. Every single time you leave your home, LOOK AROUND, notice anything that is unusual or suspicious and REPORT IT. Don’t hesitate to call the non-emergency number at 435-1845 Program it into your cell phones and home phones NOW. If you think you should call….CALL. Help the Police help us, and keep our community safe.