10 Important Crime Safety Tips for Home Owners & Renters

Hello Neighbors!  These safety tips, which came from the Office of BernCo Neighborhood Coordination, are spot on and we thought worth sharing.  Have a happy and safe summer!!!

Essential Crime Prevention Tips Every Homeowner Should Know:

Courtesy of: http://criminaljusticephd.org/crime-prevention-tips-for-homeowners

Smart homeowners plan for the worst–natural disasters, rusty pipes, burglaries, and the like. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of household burglary decreased by more than half from 1994 to 2011, from a peak of 63.4 victimizations to 27.6 victimizations per 1,000 households. But the median financial loss during completed burglaries went up, from $389 in 1994 to $600 in 2011 (numbers adjusted for inflation). No matter where you live, you can protect yourself more effectively by planning ahead–and it doesn’t have to involve putting steel bars over your windows, adopting a dog, or investing in an expensive security system (though those may help too). The National Neighborhood Watch Association suggests that homeowners looking to burglar-proof their homes should take a three-fold approach: deter, detect, and delay. Here are 10 essential crime prevention tips to help your home a less desirable target for burglary:

Tip #1: Case the joint.

Walk around your home with the eyes of a burglar. Look for weaknesses–sliding doors that could be jimmied off the track, glass that could be broken to gain entry, window unit air conditioners that could be easily removed, and so forth. A committed burglar can usually find a way into a house, but you can make it more difficult for them, and this starts with knowing your property and potential entry points for a break-in. Take a walk around the outside as well and note what pricey items are in view, tempting would-be burglars.

Tip #2: Lock the door.

It may seem obvious, but the BLS reports that more than 40 percent of burglaries don’t include forced entry–meaning people are leaving doors and windows unlocked. Install deadbolts on all doors; double cylinders are best, since they require a key on both sides of the door, and it prevents burglars from breaking a pane of glass, reaching around, and unlocking the door. (Check your area’s fire code first; some places don’t allow double cylinder locks because they can trap inhabitants inside in the event of a fire.) And remember to lock the door leading from the garage to the house, even if the garage door is down. (It’s easy to manipulate.)

Tip #3: Don’t hide a key.

One day, you forget your keys, and you decide it’s a good idea to hide one under the doormat or one of those fake rocks. That’s a terrible idea. Get rid of that idea right now, and pretend you never even considered it. Give a spare key to a neighbor instead. If your closest neighbor lives 10 miles away, and you absolutely must leave a spare key outside, put it in a combination lockbox.

Tip #4: Don’t label your keys or mailbox.

If you lose your key and it has your address written on it, well–you do the math. It’s pretty easy to become a target. Also, don’t write your last name on your mailbox. It’s easy to look you up, find your phone numbers, maybe even your workplace, and begin to track your movements in preparation to enter the home when you’re not around.

Tip #5: Secure windows and sliding doors.

Many sliding doors can be popped off the frame, even when locked. Prevent this by placing a strong steel bar or two-by-four in the back groove, which prevents the door from sliding along the groove and opening. You can do the same with windows: Install a nail in the frame to prevent the window from opening more than a few inches.

Tip #6: Be modest.

Prevent your home from being a target by tucking away expensive items. Keep both the car and the bike in the garage. After purchasing a new piece of expensive electronic equipment, dispose of the box directly instead of leaving it next to your trash can–which lets would-be burglars know you have something shiny and new that could bring in great cash on the black market. While you’re at it, consider keeping expensive jewelry and your mattress full of cash somewhere safer, like a safe deposit box.

Tip #7: Create the illusion you’re always home.

The majority of burglaries take place when people aren’t home, particularly during the day, while the victims are at work. Deter burglars by creating the impression that you’re always home: Leave on lights, the radio, or the television. And if you’re going on vacation for awhile, don’t advertise your absence. Arrange for someone to pick up the mail, newspapers, mow the lawn, shovel the snow, and set out trash cans regularly.

Tip #8: Secure the area surrounding your house.

Secure the yard: Trim bushes and trees to discourage burglars from using them as hiding places. Avoid planting low shrubs in front of windows; you may even consider planting thorny shrubs for an added deterrent. And be sure to add lighting outside your home.

Tip #9: Get to know the neighbors.

Tight-knit communities suffer fewer burglaries because people look out for each other and strangers stick out. If your neighborhood doesn’t already have a Neighborhood Watch Program, consider starting one. Studies have found they reduce crime and violence in a given neighborhood.

Tip #10: Install an alarm system–or at least a sign.

Alarm systems are available at a number of price points, but an effective one should include sensors at entry points, motion detectors inside the house, and a loud outdoor alarm that alerts the entire neighborhood when someone has forced entry. If you don’t want to go all-out, fake out would-be burglars by sticking a home security system sign in your yard. The threat of an alarm may be enough to keep them from trying.

 

 

 

Happy and Safe Holidays from Ladera West

Hello Neighbors!  The Ladera West Neighborhood Association wishes you a Joyful Winter Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year!

Have you noticed how nice the neighborhood is looking? We are grateful to the City of Albuquerque, the Westside Coalition of Neighborhoods Association, and our neighboring Associations for working together to beautify the Westside. Thanks to the efforts of our bordering neighborhood association, Ladera Heights, new sculptures were installed just east of the golf course on the west side of Ladera Blvd; we have flowers year round (in the form of beautiful 5-foot tall steel sculptures). By spring, the road work on Ladera Blvd in front of Ladera Golf Course will look similar to the section of Ladera Blvd between Bob McCannon Pkwy and Unser Blvd with a landscaped median and bike paths. We also look forward to the City of Albuquerque continuing the median work on Unser Blvd from Montano to I-40.

In addition to enjoying the beauty this holiday season, we want everyone to stay safe.  Check out our “crime prevention” page for tips during the holiday season and year round.  A few biggies this time of year – even though we’re all in a hurry, never let your car warm-up unattended; if you’re sending checks or gift cards, don’t put out your mail after the mail has been collected for the day (and check your mail every day); and arrange with your neighbors to keep an eye out for packages left at each others’ doors.  This is also a great way to get to know your neighbors (and maybe share some holiday cheer or goodies as well).

See you all in 2017!

 

 

 

Get to Know: The Albuquerque Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Hello Neighbors!

What happens when the unthinkable happens? Neighbors help neighbors through every kind of disaster that nature or humans create. Sometimes, all that is needed is a friend to listen as we try to understand what we experienced. But, often we need an army of trained volunteers.

The Albuquerque Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) is that army. CERT Volunteers are trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and medical aide. Even when there is (fortunately) no tragedy with which to assist, CERT Volunteers are out there assisting us by being present at safety fairs and other events, helping provide medical aide, and educating the public on safety and preparedness.

Are you interested in becoming involved? CERT classes meet for about 20 hours to learn the basics and provide CERT certification. CERT classes aren’t only FREE; but, you go home with $80 in equipment that will help you help your neighbors in a disaster. Thereafter, more specialized courses are available to help you reach your personal goals. CERT is managed through the city’s Emergency Management Office. To learn more about CERT and upcoming classes check out the CERT website at https://www.cabq.gov/emergency-management-office/citizen-preparedness/community-emergency-response-team or call Fred Hogan at (505) 833-7247. (This website also provides links to all things emergency management should you want to learn more without joining CERT.)

 

APD Citizen’s Police Academy

Hi Neighbors!

You may recall that the LWNA board recently had the opportunity to talk directly with APD NW Area Commander, Dodi Camacho, and share our concerns at the September LWNA meeting. In addition, we had the pleasure of speaking with several other officers at the NW Area Command Citizen Appreciation event. Openly talking to our law enforcement officers in welcoming and often cheerful situations goes a long way to creating the community familiarity that benefits our neighborhood.

Now, it can be your turn. APD offers a 12 week Citizen’s Police Academy at the Albuquerque Police Academy. In each of the 24 classes, you will meet with a specific division from 6 to 9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This includes officers from Narcotics, Homicide, K-9, Crime Lab, SWAT, and so many more. You will learn how APD works for you, and its philosophy, policies, and guiding principles. At the end of the program, you will graduate and be offered a chance to ride with one of Albuquerque’s finest for a day and to participate in APD’s Volunteers Services Program.

APD is currently registering for the 49th Citizen’s Police Academy. Classes are FREE and informative. Classes are at the Albuquerque Police Academy at 5412 2nd NW. You must be 18 and pass a background check. You can register at the Citizen’s Police Academy website at https://www.cabq.gov/police/programs/citizen-police-academy or by contacting the Academy’s coordinator Officer Sharon Saavedra at (505) 224-6641.

Have a great new year!!!

Start a Neighborhood Watch on Your Street

Hello Neighbors!
Some of you have been asking about starting a neighborhood watch. Right now, there aren’t any in Ladera West, but if you have the motivation and a few interested neighbors, you can start one on your street. The board of LWNA is also willing to help you get started in any way we can, just ask! Here’s the original post about starting a watch, complete with the APD contact and link to more information:

Ladera West Neighborhood Association

Have you been thinking about having a neighborhood watch on your street?  It’s a great idea, and fairly easy to implement.  At the annual meeting APD Crime Prevention Specialist Pete Gelabert explained the process.  You basically need a block captain and some willing neighbors on your street (they are organized by individual streets) who will keep their ears and eyes open and report suspicious activity.  You can find more information from APD on starting a neighborhood watch program here.

Once your street decides to create a program, contact Pete Gelabert at pgelabert@cabq.gov and he will come out and talk to your group, provide materials, etc.

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Summer in the Neighborhood

Hello Neighbors and HAPPY SUMMER!

Summer is in full swing and we’d like to give you some ideas of things to do and ways to stay safe during this great time of year.  If you have other ideas you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them – please post a comment!

There’s a great place to spend some time this summer right here in our very own neighborhood – the Ladera West Golf Course!   If you’ve never been or haven’t been back in a while, here’s a review from neighbors who recently went:  “The Ladera Golf Course has undergone some great renovations lately. It has a new sprinkler system throughout the course resulting in more grass and tremendously improved playing conditions, enhanced paths, and new golf carts. It is in the best condition we’ve seen it in since moving here. It is also home to geese, ducks, rabbits, and other wildlife, making for a fun day on the course.” Sounds like fun!  (In addition to the golf course, we have the great Riconada Park and the Ouray dog park, both within Ladera West).

Did you know that Albuquerque boasts one of the most robust trail systems in the U.S.?   And one great one starts right outside our own doors!  Take a walk, run or bike ride along Unser north to Mariposa Park in Taylor Ranch, or head south and hop on the I-40 bridge behind Wal-mart to ride into the Bosque (just be sure to pace yourself on the ride back – the slope is steeper than it looks).   You can even lock up your bikes at the Bio Park and make a day of it!

Outside of the neighborhood there are activities galore – from Summer Fest to zoo music for the entire family, Explora summer camp & swimming lessons at public pools for the kids, and farmers markets providing local produce & crafts (if you haven’t checked out the Downtown Grower’s Market on Saturdays or the Rail Yards Market on Sundays, these are the two biggest and best – and close to home!).   The City of Albuquerque has a complete listing with links here.

What are some of your favorites or hidden gems?

And…since the kids are out of school and outside having fun, we want to help make sure they’re safe.  APD’s Northwest Area Command has distributed a “summer safety tips for kids” handout. Check it out here.

Speaking of APD distributing useful safety handouts, they’ve been doing this regularly on the website www.nextdoor.com.  This is a social-media-like site for neighbors to communicate.   In some ways it’s great – you get real-time notification of safety issues, lost and found dogs, suspicious activity and more.  (At other times there may be a spat among neighbors, which is less fun.)  LWNA does not endorse or oppose the site, but wanted to make you aware in case you want to check it out and decide for yourself.

Have a GREAT summer neighbors, have fun and stay safe!

West Side Day at the Roundhouse, Spring Clean Up and MORE!!!

Hello Neighbors!

Have you had enough of the winter doldrums and are ready to “Spring” into action?!?! Many of you have expressed an interest in getting more involved in the neighborhood. Well, you’re in luck –  there’s plenty of upcoming activity for the West Side!

The big kick-off is West Side Day at the Roundhouse – a chance to meet your representatives, take a tour and celebrate our late LWNA President Bob McCannon’s street naming.  See the flyer below for details and schedule.  (Other events are constantly updated under the “Events” tab to the right – check back often to see what’s new!)

Want to do something in the neighborhood itself?  Great!  April 25th is the Great American Cleanup and LWNA will be sponsoring a clean-up and other activities.  Stay tuned here for more details.  Don’t want to wait that long to get to work?  You can always help beautify the neighborhood in 15 minutes.

If you’re tired of solicitors or people who speed down your street, “Slow down Albuquerque”  and “Stop! No soliciting” signs are available for pick up at the APD Northwest Command Sub-Station, 10401 Cibola Lp NW (across from Cibola H.S.), 768-4850.  If you’re having trouble with litter or zoning problems, you can report those to the City.   There is a Senate Bill, 382, sponsored by our Senator, Jacob Candelaria, that would provide more enforcement of ordinances; contact Senator Candelaria to express your support.

Do you have other ideas for neighborhood activities or would you like to get more involved?  Great!  Send the LWNA board a message and we’ll get right back to you!

Looking forward to a great Spring in the neighborhood!

Start a Neighborhood Watch on Your Street

Have you been thinking about having a neighborhood watch on your street?  It’s a great idea, and fairly easy to implement.  At the annual meeting APD Crime Prevention Specialist Pete Gelabert explained the process.  You basically need a block captain and some willing neighbors on your street (they are organized by individual streets) who will keep their ears and eyes open and report suspicious activity.  You can find more information from APD on starting a neighborhood watch program here.

Once your street decides to create a program, contact Pete Gelabert at pgelabert@cabq.gov and he will come out and talk to your group, provide materials, etc.

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  • Events in the Neighborhood

    FREE Mental Health First Aid Course
    Saturday, May 20, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Bernalillo County Sheriff's Regional Training Academy, 415 Tijeras Ave. NW, 4th floor
    An eight-hour training certification course which teaches participants the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems. Space is limited and pre-registration required. Contact Margarita Chavez by phone (505) 468-7033 or via email margchavez@bernco.gov to register or for more information.

    Fun Days every Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
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