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Question: - What is being done to stop the the
increasing number of break-ins of homes and businesses?
Answer - Thanks for your question.
Anyone who has ever been burglarized knows that it is a terribly
infuriating and demoralizing experience. I've been there.
Let me update you with the latest information we have concerning
burglary statistics. We had a surge in July with 40 burglaries reported,
but were back down to 19 in August. To put these numbers in perspective
here are our annual averages:
2004: we averaged 27.66 burglaries per month
2005: we averaged 20.58 burglaries per month
2006: we averaged 20.16 burglaries per month
In 2007 we have averaged 23.5 per month through August
The 40 we had in July skewed our average some. Obviously we want
these numbers trending in the other direction. Here are some of the
things we are doing.
Terrell Police Service has temporarily placed additional staffing
on night shifts and they are targeting vehicles and pedestrians moving
during peak burglary times.
Narcotics officers are also active, as many burglars are stealing
to support their drug habits.
Burglary statistics can be impacted greatly by one or two active
burglars. Our officers recently apprehended several suspected burglars
and we hope the arrests will result in reduced burglaries.
Part of the solution is for citizens to get involved by making sure
their property is as secure as possible and by taking care of their
neighbors by watching out for each other, and by calling the police
any time they see anything that seems a little suspicious.
Here are some ways to reduce the chances of becoming a burglary
- Use deadbolts and secure all windows and sliding glass and garage
- Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor rather than hiding a
- If you've just moved into a new home, have the locks changed.
- Cut tree limbs that might provide access to upper-story windows.
Cut back or remove shrubs where burglars can hide.
- Join or form a neighborhood
watch group. Immediately report suspicious activity to police.
- Homeowners and business owners are also encouraged to install
and use alarm systems and install security cameras where appropriate.
- When away for extended periods, use timers to turn on indoor
lights and radios, stop mail and newspaper delivery, and leave
blinds, shades and curtains in normal positions.
- Take advantage of the Terrell Police Department's "Vacation
Watch" program. Call 972-551-6622 at any time (24 hours a
day, 7 days a week) to schedule periodic checks when you plan to
be away from home for vacation or other extended period.
- Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency
responders can find your home quickly.
I communicate with Chief Miller and City Manager Edwards several
times each week about crime and police issues. Public safety is the
most important and fundamental service the City provides to citizens.
Citizens have the right to expect that the City is doing everything
possible to protect us and our property. My commitment is to support
the police and to have high expectations for success.
If you have any other question or comment for me I will be glad
to hear from you.
Hal Richards, Mayor