Facts about Gangs
We all want what’s best for our communities and especially our children, but it is a fact that gangs are growing in numbers and target teens as well as adults to join. They are not just innocent rebellious groups, they cause violence and promote prostitution and drugs. Families of gang members often become targets of violence and other criminal activity, so it is not just the gang members problem, their whole family is at risk. Here are some tell-tale signs that your child is involved, or could become involved with a gang:
Acting out against family members
Lack of a positive support system at home
Low self esteem or hopelessness about the future
Lack of extra curricular activities or other interests
Alcohol and drug abuse
No respect for authority
Here are a few things you can do to help your child if you feel they are potentially involved in gang activity:
Talk with them calmly no matter how angry you may feel. Avoid being quick to judge and ask them why they want to be in a gang.
Recognize it’s not just the child’s problem-it’s the family’s problem as well.
Redefine your rules for your child and ENFORCE them
Seek outside help if your child wont talk to you
If you need help removing your child from a gang’s influence, contact:
-Social service agencies
-Local police gang unit
Try to help as soon as possible. Your child needs you to be a positive influence and get them through this, not push them away. If you would like more information about gang activity and what you can do, contact your local precinct or visit the website below.
Car Prowlers and Thefts
This is something that happens all too often, but it is also very easy to avoid. Many of these things seem obvious to do, but we don’t think about it all the time, like taking your keys out of the ignition and locking your doors. It is also important to take all personal belongings and any electronic accessories out of your car when you leave, and most of all don’t leave anything in plain sight. People will steal if they think anything is in your car. Take a look at the Seattle Police website if you’re interested in more information.
For more information about personal safety, auto theft, home security, abandoned vehicles, victim support services and more, click the link below.
If you or someone you know is undergoing any kind of crisis there are plenty of hotlines that connect you with real people asap. From teens to adults there is help out there for you, whether you are a runaway, struggling from substance abuse, or have domestic issues there are trained professionals waiting at the end of the line.
For Seattle, you can simply dial 2-1-1 between the hours of 8am and 6pm and become directly connected to a crisis clinic in the Seattle area. Otherwise, please call the 24/hour Crisis Hotline at 1-866-4CRISIS. For a complete list of numbers and info, please click the link below. Don’t hesitate to call if you or someone you know is in need of help.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
The National Crime Prevention Institute’s description of the CPTED concept is, “The proper design and effective use of the built environment can to lead to a reduction in the fear of crime and incidence of crime and an improvement in the quality of life.” The focus of this program is to design cities an neighborhoods in ways that prevent criminal activity from occurring in the first place. For instance, providing lights in alleyways and fences where it’s needed. They emphasize using natural tactics, such as placing windows to face alleys, designing landscapes so people can see whats happening around them, and avoiding building entrapment areas. The city of Seattle is attempting to do more planning in the future, if you would like more info about this program and it’s efforts visit the International CPTED site http://www.cpted.net/ or you can visit the crime prevention section at seattle.gov.
How to Call 9-1-1
Did you know that most property crimes are opportunistic and occur where the thief believes there is no one watching nor cares? Most burglars are apprehended because people were being watchful in their neighborhood and called the police about suspicious activity. We play a crucial role in helping the police deter crime by calling 911 when we see something that is out of place, and it’s important to know when and how to call.
First of all, is the WHEN:
If someone is looking into windows, mailboxes, parked cars, or trying to open doors of houses.
If you see unfamiliar persons loitering on your block.
Slow moving vehicles circling the block, or if you see an unfamiliar car parked for long periods of time, especially if someone is sitting in it for a while.
Also, if any situation appears to be a crime in progress (unusual noises, screams, gunshots, breaking glass, barking dogs…etc)
Next, is the HOW:
Try to stay calm
State the problem you have
Let the 911 dispatcher take control of the conversation. Answer all the questions you can, and state when you cannot provide an answer.
Be prepared to give the address of where the crime is occurring
Stay on the line until you are directed to hang up.
Safety starts with you and other members in your neighborhood coming together and solving problems, and most of all looking out for one another. Don’t be paranoid, just be aware of what happens in your area and don’t be afraid to speak up when your gut tells you to. So go out and meet your neighbors, start a block watch, or just involve yourself with the people around you so that this community can be a safer place.
Better safe than sorry!
If you would like more information you can contact the Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow with the information below.
Living room conversations
The purpose of living room conversations is to bring community members and Seattle police officers together in a casual “living room” setting to simply talk and meet each other. The goal is to build face to face relationships between community members and officers, foster an open dialogue, and discuss neighborhood concerns and accomplishments. It’s a great opportunity for you and officers alike to get to know one another on a first name basis and talk about topics you may not have otherwise been able to discuss. These meetings can be held in any volunteers home or business and are open to anyone that wants to be invited and live within the city limits. The Seattle Police Department Community Outreach Section is eager to find community members and businesses who are interested in hosting and/or participating in a “Living Room Conversation” within your neighborhood precincts.
If you would like more information about hosting or attending one of these get-togethers in South Park please contact:
Officer Alex Chapackdee
The best way to keep your neighborhood safe is by staying connected with your neighbors and understanding what’s happening around you on a daily basis. Starting a block watch requires very minimal commitments; just be concerned for yourself and your neighbors and be willing to report any suspicious activity to your neighbors or by calling 911. It’s important to be aware of what goes on in your neighborhood so you know when dangerous activity is taking place. You can start by having meetings every so often to make sure everyone is on the same page and can voice their concerns. If you’d like to get involved or just want more information ask your neighbors! There is plenty of people that would love your help, or you can check it out online from the link below.
Do you know if you’re prepared for unexpected disasters? SNAP – Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare – is an organization run by the city that provides tons of information on how to prepare your neighborhood for any kind of disaster. With an emphasis on staying connected with your neighbors, SNAP encourages everyone to get involved, have a family disaster plan, disaster supplies kit, and to be organized for when the unexpected happens. Start by getting together with your neighbors to create a plan of action. If you’d like more information visit the Office of Emergency Management site by clicking the website link below.
Want to be a part of making our communities safer? Well, Safe Communities, an initiative of SPD 20/20, is relying on people like you for information and concerns about your neighborhood. They have facilitated community meetings at each precinct, as well as 5-15 small group meetings to get the facts straight on what should be a priority for each neighborhood. Their mission is to ensure the city is meeting our goal of reducing crime and creating the safest possible neighborhoods by engaging deeply with the community. Led by the Mayors Office and Seattle Police Department, if you’d like more information about the Safe Communities project click on the website link below.