Deterring Crime in your Neighborhood
Scottsdale is a very safe city and there are several simple steps and precautions that can be taken by you to keep it that way. The majority of crimes in the city are property crimes, such as vehicle thefts and burglaries as well as residential thefts and burglaries. Most criminals look for easy targets, so the information we bring to you is that of “target hardening” or making it more difficult for them to victimize you or your neighbor.
Vehicle burglaries make up the largest percentage of reported crime in the city. Unfortunately, the majority of these crimes involve unlocked vehicles with personal property left in plain sight. For the last two months in the southern part of the City (from McDonald Road south) over half of the vehicles burglarized have been unlocked. Here are some of the things that can be done to lessen the likelihood you becoming a victim:
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicle, but in the event it is unavoidable never leave them in plain view. If possible, secure them in your trunk before arriving at your destination.
- Always close your windows and lock your doors. If you have a vehicle alarm, make sure it is armed.
- Consider the use of a “club” or other device as a visible deterrent to auto theft.
- Park your car in your garage if you have one. If you must park your car outside the garage, never leave the garage door opener in your vehicle. If the car were to be broken into, the thief would have access to your garage, and possibly your entire home.
- Some things to consider are the items vehicle burglars are currently focusing on. Some of the hottest items being stolen are radar detectors, GPS units and I-Pods left in plain sight inside the vehicle. With the current high price of gasoline, we are starting to see an increase in gasoline thefts. The best method to prevent gas theft is to put your vehicle inside your garage at night and buy a locking gas cap. The theft of catalytic convertors (a part of your vehicle emission control system in your exhaust system) continues to be problematic as well. Catalytic convertors contain several precious metals that are scrapped for money. Replacing a convertor can cost several hundred dollars. No vehicle is completely safe, but the vehicles targeted most often are the higher clearance pick-ups and SUV’s. Again, the best prevention is a garage. Second best would be a carport equipped with lights on motion sensors.
Another common property crime is residential theft/burglary. A few tips in this area:
- Be sure your doors and windows are locked. This includes securing sliding windows and patio doors with some type of bar in the track or thumb screws as well as some method to prevent the door from being lifted up and off the track.
- Good lighting. Most criminals want to go undetected. Make sure any exterior lights are working and provide uniform lighting without dark spots. Consider the use of motion detector lights. Your front door light should provide enough white light that the homeowner can identify someone at the door.
- An area often forgotten is the rear yard. Make sure that all gates of a rear yard are locked. Not just latched but locked. If a thief gets into your back yard there is a lot less chance of being seen by a watchful neighbor. Although access can still be gained by jumping the fence, a lock on the gate will make it more difficult to remove large items of value. The Scottsdale Police Department offers FREE home security surveys to all residents. Call your respective Crime prevention Officer or District Police Aide to schedule yours today. In addition, please call if you are going on vacation so you can be put on the “Vacation Watch” log.
Scams and Frauds
The old adage of “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is truer now more than ever. One of the latest scams occurring is: “your grandson/granddaughter is in jail in a foreign country and needs money to get home”. Unfortunately, there have been several attempts that have been successful in Scottsdale. The average take has been several thousand dollars. Don’t fall victim to a lottery, found property, or check overpayment schemes. Remember, money doesn’t usually fall into your lap so if it sounds “too good” trust your gut feeling.
Another scam, related to the state of our economy is a “job search reply” on E-Bay, Google, CraigsList, etc. In this scam the “business” claims they will send check which they want you to deposit it in your account. They then request that you send them back the majority of the money (by Western Union or MoneyGram), but for your efforts to keep a little for yourself. A week later the back informs you that the check was forged or fake and you are out the money.
Fire and Water Safety
July 4th is approaching and as you may know, it is now legal to sell certain fireworks in the City. What you may not know is that it is still illegal to light them off in the City. It is always important to remember the danger of a fire igniting due to the mixture of dry climate and sparks emitted from the device.
Pool season is finally here and we want everyone to enjoy the season, but please be diligent in supervising your children – even if they are good swimmers. This message cannot be overstated as there have already been several child drownings in the Valley this year.
Summertime! Vacation time! Pool Time! The Scottsdale Police Department wants you to enjoy your summer. Please consider using the tips mentioned - you truly can have a hand in preventing crime and tragedies from happening to you. Let’s all work together to make your summer safe and enjoyable.
Family Promise of Greater Phoenix
Family Promise is a transitional housing facility located in South Scottsdale, and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, independently affiliated with the national organization founded in 1988 and comprised of 162 affiliates in 41 states (www.familypromise.org). They relocated from central Phoenix a couple of years ago and are hopeful to add additional apartments in the area in the near future. Family Promise is not a homeless shelter and they do not take anyone off the street. All of their clients are carefully screened through the organization and must be families with children. There is a staff member living on site and they do not allow drug or alcohol use.
They have day programs where families are given food and shelter at a valley church (which rotates monthly) and then are transported to the Scottsdale facility for the day. The children are picked up and transported to school while the parents receive education and employment assistance if they are not working. When they gain employment they are then eligible to rent one of the available 6 or 7 apartments on site until they get back on their feet. A typical resident lives on property approximately 6 months.
Please visit their website for additional information: familypromiseaz.org
Want to get involved? Check out this upcoming opportunity - Family Promise of Greater Phoenix is in the process of organizing an awareness event called “Cardboard City”. The event will be held in late October and will involve parents and their children from the community spending the night in a city of cardboard boxes! For additional information contact: email@example.com
Additional Safety Tips
The combination of sunny days and warm temperatures often means that people (especially children) want to wear as little as possible when engaging in outdoor activities. One item of apparel that should not be omitted, however, is the protective helmet. Whether used for bicycle or horseback riding or in-line skating, properly fitting helmets can prevent serious and often life-threatening head injuries. The American Medical Association (AMA) states that of the 800 cyclists who die each year, 75 per cent die from head injuries.
- Riders should choose light-colored helmets which are easier to see at dusk or at night.
- Helmets shoudl have a hard outer shell and a crushable liner, and should fit snugly, with straps to keep it securely in place.
- Bicycle helmets should carry a label indicating that they have been approved by the Snell Memorial Foundation or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or American Standards Testing Materials (ASTM).
- Other sports will require other types of protective gear in addition to helmets. For example, in-line skating has become an enormously popular sport-according to the AMA, the fastest growing sport in the United States. In-line skaters can reach speeds of 30 mph or more, yet many don't wear protective helmets, or knee, wrist or elbow pads.
Safety During Monsoon/Electrical Storms
You can minimize your chances of being injured during an electrical storm by avoiding open areas and seeking shelter indoors or inside a closed automobile. Hiding under trees or touching metal objects (e.g. golf clubs) increases your chances of being struck by lightning.
The telephone company advises that you should not use the phone during an electrical storm. Although protective measures are used to keep dangerous electrical surges from entering your home through your telephone wires, complete protection is impossible. Thus, there is a quite remote but real risk of electrical shock if you use the phone during an electrical storm.
Public Safety Community
Contact Numbers and E-mail Links
- Scottsdale Police Non-Emergency 480-312-5000
- Scottsdale Fire Department 480-312-8000
- SPD Drug Enforcement Hotline - Suspected illegal activity, 480-312-TIPS (Hot lines are not monitored)
- SPD Traffic Enforcement Hotline - chronic traffic problems, 480-312-CARS
- Code Enforcement 480-312-2546
- Child Safety Seat Installation 480-312-BABY
- CPR/First Aid Classes 480-312-1817
From the Desk of Commander Burl Haenel
Whether you are traveling around the world or relaxing at home, a safe, healthy vacation will add to your enjoyment. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when planning your summer vacation.
Safety in and on the Water
For many of us, summer would not be summer without swimming and other water sports. These activities, however, can lead to tragedy if you are unfamiliar with water safety precautions. Each year, approximately 7,000 people drown in the United States, and most of these deaths could have been prevented. Here, we outline some of the most basic precautions that can keep you from becoming a statistic.
Tips for Safe Swimming and Diving:
- Learn to swim and dive well enough so that you can survive in the water in an emergency.
- Do not swim in unsupervised areas.
- Do not swim or dive alone, and do not swim when the only other people in the water are non-swimmers. Their presence might seem reassuring but they would be of little help in an emergency.
- Know your limitations and do not overestimate your ability. Do not forget that your ability to swim may not be up to par under some circumstances, such as when you are tired or overheated.
- Do not swim or dive if you have been drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is the underlying cause of many drownings and other accidents because it impairs both judgment and coordination.
- Stay out of the water during electrical storms.
- Do not dive into shallow or unfamiliar waters. A resulting neck injury can lead to paralysis.
- Flotation devices can lead to overconfidence. Do not substitute an air mattress, inner tube, or other floating object for swimming ability.
- Stay a safe distance away from diving boards, platforms, and floats.
- Do not hyperventilate before swimming underwater. Hyperventilation can cause mental confusion and even blackout.
- A ban on swimming after eating has no scientific basis. Stomach (or other) cramps are no more likely at that time than any other.
Safety Tips for Swimming Pool Owners:
- Never permit anyone to swim in your pool alone.
- Never leave a child unattended in the pool area, even if he or she is not in the water.
- Make sure that the pool is adequately fenced (many communities have laws that specify fence height) and has a self-locking gate to prevent children and pets from entering the pool area when no adult is present.
- Make sure that emergency equipment is readily available, and that someone in the pool area knows how to use it.
- Post emergency instructions, emergency telephone numbers, and pool rules.
- Mark the deep and shallw sections of the pool clearly.
- Do not allow running, pushing, or horseplay near the pool.
- Make sure that the water filtration system and chemical treatment of pool water are adequate.
- Do not allow people to bring bottles, glasses, or sharp objects into the pool area.
- If you have a transparent solar pool cover, remove it completely before using the pool. Uncovering only one part of the pool has led to accidents in which people surfaced under the cover and drowned.
- Do not use the telephone if you are in the pool, or the bathtub or shower, for that matter. If you drop the phone in the water you could get a serious electric shock. (This warning does not apply to cordless phones, if you drop a cordless phone in the water, you may damage the phone, but you will not hurt yourself).
- Read and follow our Tips for Safe Swimming.
- Ask your pool manufacturer what kind of diving board, if any, is appropriate.
Safety Tips for Beaches:
- Swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.
- If you get caught in a current, swim with it or diagonally across it until you can get free or call for help. Do not attemp to swim against a current.
- Do not use breakable objects on the beach.
- Do not leave children unattended, even in areas where lifeguards are on duty.
- If you want to try a long-distance swim, swim parallel to the shore so that you can reach it easily.
- Do not strike up conversations with lifeguards or interfere in any other way with the performance of their jobs.
- Read and follow the Tips for Safe Swimming.
Safety Tips for Boating
- All boat occupants should wear Coast-Guard approved life jackets.
- Know the "rules of the road" of the area in which of you are boating.
- Remember that alcohol and driving don't mix - whether the vehicle is a car, power board, jet ski or canoe.
Overheating in the Summer Sun
Very hot and humid weather causes an increase in internal body temperature, which places greater demands upon the body's cooling mechanisms. There is a limit beyond which these mechanisms can no longer maintain a normal internal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If body temperature continues to rise without sufficient cooling, a serious heat disorder can occur. Those people particularly at risk are:
- Workers in hot environments, especially if the job requires physical labor
- Athletes and frequent exercisers
- Infants, young children, and elderly people
- The chronically ill, and people with heart or circulatory problems
- Alcoholics, drug abusers
Heat disorders can be mild or severe:
- Heat rash - While not life-threatening, heat rash can certainly interfere with vacation fun. In hot, humid environments, sweat cannot evaporate easily, leading to plugged sweat glands and a consequent skin rash. The rash can be treated by cool showers and cornstarch-containing powders. To prevent heat rash, by keep the skin dry and wear fast-drying clothing.
- Heat fatigue - Characterized by discomfort, irritability, disorientation, headaches, and fatigue, this mild disorder can be alleviated by getting out of the heat, relaxing, and drinking plenty of cool liquids.
- Heat cramps - Physical activity in a hot environment can cause these painful muscle spasms. Massage the affected muscles and drink both water and electrolyte replacement drinks, as cramps are indicative of an imbalance in the body's normal fluid and salt content.
- Heat syncope/fainting - Those unused to hot environments, or who are active for long periods in the heat, may experience such a reduced blood flow to the brain that fainting results. Fainting victims should lie down and rest in a cool place, and drink plenty of fluids.
- Heat exhaustion - A more serious loss of body fluids and salt, and decreased blood flow to the brain and other organs, heat exhaustion leads to symptoms such as excessive sweating; cool, pale, and clammy skin; weakness; nausea, headache, dizziness; and slightly elevated body temperature. Victims of heat exhaustion should be moved to a cool place to rest with their feet slightly elevated and their clothes loosened or removed, and they should drink plenty of cool liquids.
- Heat stroke - The most serious of heat disorders, heat stroke is the result of a complete breakdown of the body's cooling mechanisms. Symptoms include lack of perspiration; red, bluish, or mottled skin; hot and dry skin; strong, rapid pulse; temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; severe headache, chills, or nausea; mental confusion, dizziness; unconsciousness, convulsions, and eventual coma. Heat stroke should be treated immediately because it can cause brain damage and death. Call for emergency help, then remove the victim's clothing and cool the body by rubbing with a cold sponge or ice pack, cold compresses, a fan, or by immersing in tepid water.
Tips to Beat the Summer Heat:
- Pay attention to weather reports and adjust daily routines accordingly.
- Schedule physically strenuous activities for cooler times.
- Allow several days to adjust to hot environments.
- Dress in light, loose, cotton clothing. Wide-brimmed hats help keep you cool as well.
- When working outside, take periodic rest breaks in a cool area.
- Drink plenty of noncarbonated fluids before, during, and after physical activities. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which are diuretics—substances that increase water loss via the urine.
- Never leave children or pets inside a car, even if the windows are open.
- If you are taking medication, ask your doctor about its side-effects.
- Keep cool with fans, air conditioning, and cool baths or showers.
- Get plenty of sleep and eat light, nutritious, and non-fatty meals.
- Be aware that when active in a hot, dry climate, for example when playing tennis, salt as well as water are lost in sweat. Under such conditions restriction of dietary salt by healthy individuals may be unwise. However, salt tablets are rarely necessary.
HAVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY SUMMER VACATION!
Commander Burl Haenel
FREE Ice Cream Social on July 21st, 1:00 pm: Granite Reef Senior Center; 1700 N. Granite Reef RD. The extreme summer heat makes it difficult to find a cool spot. Look no further than the Granite Reef Senior Center's 18th annual Ice Cream Social. Free ice cream, cool treats and live entertainment...what could be better.