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!

 

 

 

Thanks to All for a Great Annual Meeting!

Hello Neighbors!

LWNA was proud to see so many of you, as well as our esteemed guests (including folks from Ladera Heights), at our Annual meeting on September 15th. We had a good turnout and lively discussions!

Some of the highlights included:

Informative and spirited discussions with State Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas and State Senator Jacob Candelaria about issues of concern to our members; a presentation from Brad Malone, Voter Outreach Coordinator; and crime prevention tips and Q&A with Pete Gelabert, APD Crime Specialist.  Elaine Romero, Policy Analyst for City Councilor Ken Sanchez, filled us in on the latest landscaping, stop-light and sign projects in our neighborhood:

 

Two new members, Connie Gilman and Catherine Garcia, were voted onto the board of LWNA and Steve Collins and Shariesse McCannon were re-elected for another term.  Along with mid-term member Karen Buccola, these folks make up your 2016-2017 board.

And, most importantly, neighbors got to mingle and meet (and eat), talk to their representatives, express their concerns and share their suggestions. Overall, it was a great event and we were so glad to see you there!!! THANK YOU!

LWNA Annual Meeting Agenda (Sept. 15)

Dear Neighbors,

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the annual meeting!  Please help us spread the word to your neighbors as well.

We are still in need of a few folks willing to become board members – if you are interested or just curious, post a comment or send an email and we’ll be happy to give you the 4-1-1. It’s only the energy of volunteers that keeps Ladera West Neighborhood Association going!

Here’s the Agenda for the Annual Meeting: Sept. 15, 2016, Ladera Golf Course, 6:30 p.m:

AGENDA

Meet and Greet (snacks and beverages provided)

6:30: Call meeting to order

  • Welcome and overview of the past year – Hope Eckert
  • Distribution/Summary/Acceptance of the minutes – Steve Collins
  • Treasurer’s Report – Shariesse McCannon
  • Election of Board Members
    • OPEN POSITION 1
    • OPEN POSITION 2
    • Shariesse McCannon – Reelection
    • Steve Collins – Reelection

Presenters:

7:00: Pete Gelabert, APD Crime Prevention Specialist and Northwest Area Commander John Sullivan

7:10: Brad Malone – Bernalillo County Voter Outreach Coordinator

7:20: City Councilor Ken Sanchez and Policy Analyst Elaine Romero

7:30 Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas

7:40: State Senator Jacob Candelaria

Adjourn

Annual Meeting and Board Elections (Sept. 15)

Hello Neighbors!

Our annual meeting is just around the corner and it promises to be another lively and educational forum.  Come join us THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th at 6:30 at the Ladera Golf Course banquet room.  This is a great event for meeting your neighbors and getting updates from – and having the ear of – your local officials.  This year’s agenda includes our City Counselor Ken Sanchez (and his amazing Policy Analyst Elaine Romero); Brad Malone, Voter Outreach Coordinator for the City (need to register?  want to work the polls?); Pete Gelabert, APD Crime Prevention Specialist  (you’ve been meaning to start a neighborhood watch….) and more to come.  We would be grateful if you would spread the word to any neighbors you may know!

In addition to information and conversations with our officials, it’s time to elect your board!   This year’s positions are as follows:

Board position – vacant – open for election

Hope Eckert – up for reelection

Shariesse McCannon – up for reelection

Steve Collins – up for reelection

Karren Buccola – middle of term/no election

If you’d like more information on what it takes to be a board member or you’re interested in running, please let us know.   We’ll be positing a more detailed agenda closer to the meeting.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Save the Date – Great American Cleanup April 30th

Hello Neighbors! Happy (almost) Spring!

The Great American Cleanup is a nationwide program in which over 20,000 communities participate. You can find out more about the Albuquerque program here. This year, as it has for over 2 decades, Ladera West Neighborhood Association will be participating in the clean-up, which will take place this year on Saturday, April 30th.

While we’ll send a reminder closer to the date, here is the tentative agenda:

anytime between 9:00 – 11:00: pick up your supplies (plastic bags, gloves, snacks and beverages) at Riconada Park; you’ll let the LWNA board members know what areas of the neighborhood you’ll be cleaning so that we can send a truck by to collect the city-issued bags after the clean-up.

anytime between 9:00 – 12:00: clean up the area of the neighborhood you selected and leave the bags at the end of the streets.

12:00 and forward: enjoy the fruits of your labor by admiring how nice the neighborhood looks!

While it’s not mandatory to sign-up ahead of time, it will help us get a head-count for supplies (and snacks!). Planning on participating? Sign up here:

Do You Know Our City Councilor?

As part of our responsibilities as LWNA Board Members, we frequently have the opportunity to meet with our City Councilor, Ken Sanchez. Before getting involved with the neighborhood association, however, most of us did not know much about our City Councilor or how to get in touch with him. So to make it easier for you to talk to Councilor Sanchez should the need arise, here’s our first-hand knowledge of Councilor Sanchez and our experience working with him.

Ken Sanchez has been working for the West Side since 1995, first, serving as Bernalillo County Commissioner from 1995-2002 and then serving as our Albuquerque City Councilor from 2005 to the present. He is currently in his third term as City Councilor for District One.  During his time in office, there have been a number of great improvements to our neighborhood that Councilor Sanchez has helped with. These include:

  • The opening of Rinconada Park, Ouray Dog Park, and making Ouray Road improvements,
  • Coordinating with the community and Shariesse McCannon for the recent renaming of Ouray Road to “Bob McCannon Parkway,” in honor of the great community advocate,
  • Ongoing maintenance and improvements at Ladera Golf Course to keep the course up to par (pardon the pun) as one of the Westside’s gems and recreational spots,
  • Helping address speeding problem on Atrisco Drive NW,
  • Working with the community to help address pedestrian and bicyclist concerns, such as adding bicycle lanes and improving pedestrian access,
  • Preserving open space near the Petroglyph Monument, and
  • Helping to bring the Community Stadium to the West Side, which hosts football and track with Albuquerque Public Schools.

We also understand he is currently working to ensure a new baseball complex adjacent to the Community Stadium on 81 acres of the city’s land is constructed, which would host tournaments and games for both adults and our youth.

His staff has also been incredibly helpful whenever we have questions or comments to bring to the Councilor’s attention. We highly recommend talking to Councilor Sanchez’s policy analyst, Elaine Romero, who has always made herself available to us and usually attends meetings when the Councilor is unavailable. Speaking of meetings, you can usually find either Councilor Sanchez or Elaine Romero at the West Side Coalition Association meetings, which your LWNA Board members attend as well. We are always available to make an introduction, so just let us know you are coming or say hello when you are there. You can also get ahold of Ms. Romero directly at 768-3183 or via e-mail at eromero@cabq.gov. Or, try attending a City Council meeting. They usually meet twice a month on Mondays at 5:00 pm, and members of the public are always welcome to attend as well as provide public comment.

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.)

 

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!

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.
    Bachechi Open Space (9521 Rio Grande Blvd. NW)

    The Northwest Area Command Community Policing Council meetings are held the second Monday of every month at 6:00 PM. The meeting is at the Northwest Area Command Substation located at 10401 Cibola Loop, NW 87114 across from Cibola High School.

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    If you are having any non-emergency issues (weeds, trash, zoning, lost animals, etc.) don't forget you can make a report through 3-1-1 or online at: https://www.cabq.gov/311/abq311/
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