Block Watch / Safety

Safety Officer – Holly Rast
dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency
614-645-4545 for non-emergency  OR for non-emergency
Please turn on outside lights overnight as a crime deterrent and for the safety of neighbors walking home/walking pets after dark.
NEIGHBOR-TO-NEIGHBOR: Building a strong Block Watch program and working together to keep our community a safe place to call home.
Neighbor-to-neighbor describes how a strong Block Watch program is developed and maintained.  Did you know that “neighbors knowing their neighbors” is the best tool for fighting property crime?


A strong Block Watch program can significantly help reduce crime (and the fear of crime).  This includes preventing or reducing residential burglaries and break-ins, drug/party houses, gang activity, vandalism, graffiti, malicious mischief, vehicle prowling and theft.
A strong Block Watch program empowers each neighbor in recognizing and reporting suspicious activity.  Together, neighbors can determine “normal” vehicles, schedules, behaviors and events on a given block.  If something is not “normal”, appropriate action can be taken to report it.
While 9-1-1 should be called for emergency situations, neighors in the Salem community are encouraged to call the non-emergency number (645-4545) for the Columbus Police Department to report any suspicious person or activity.
Just what does a Block Watch Member do?  A Block Watch Member is basically a point of contact to report and distribute information (via phone, email or in person) regarding:
– any suspicious or unwelcome activity in our community
– any particular interests and concerns neighbors have
– any suggestions or comments about our community
This provides each of us with a direct community referral system and a link to the Columbus Police Department.  We need your help if we want to make our Block Watch program stronger!
Pinning Windows Installation photo demonstration provided by Police Officers Clinger and Geis.
CRIME PROOF YOURSELF, tips from Doug Grant
Shoppers in parking lots in the Rt. 161 area are being confronted by supposedly homeless women who run up to your car as you park and ask, “Can you help me?” If you respond, they ask for money. If you take out your wallet or open your purse, they will grab it and run. We all want to help others, but be aware of your surroundings, be alert, and keep your family and friends informed of these types of scams. Awareness is as important as anything elsewhen it comes to staying safe.
With the increase in cost of gasoline and groceries, expect more street robbery and house burglary.  The burglar will be looking for cash, gold, jewelry and firearms.  You can foil the street robber with a #64 rubber band 1/4 inch wide.  Men should put one around a wallet and carry it in a front pocket.  Women, take a #64 and put it around your paper money, credit cards and driver’s license and carry them in an inside pocket.  Use a purse onlyfor extras, not valuables.  If a snatcher gets the purse, it has little value.  Men, make a fake roll of money and credit cards from those applications that come in the mail.  If held up,remove it out of your back pocket, where you would carry your wallet, say, “Here, take it,” and throw it one way and run the other.
LANDSCAPING FOR HOME SECURITY By Greg Payne, Former Safety Officer
The spring planting season provides a great opportunity to think about our landscaping and how it can help protect our homes from intruders. Well-thought-out placement of plants and lighting can help prevent burglaries while also improving the appearance of our neighborhood. The following landscaping tips will help assure a well-groomed yard that also serves to prevent intruders.•Keep shrubbery trimmed below windowsills and away from your home to prevent intruders from hiding behind them to break into your home. This also enables police and Block Watch participants to notice intruder activities.•Do not place large shrubs near sidewalks and driveways where an intruder or attacker may hide.•Trim trees near your home, keeping branches more than 8 feet off the ground, to prevent intruders from climbing a tree to gain access to second-story windows.•Use “thorny”plants under windows when possible.•When away for an extended period, ask someone to mow your lawn and water plants.•Use landscape lighting to light the perimeter of your home and to provide lighting near walkways and doors where an intruder might hide.•Install motion-sensor lights, especially at the rear of your home.• Keep all lawn and landscape tools in a locked shed or garage to avoid tempting burglars. Keep these tips in mind during this spring planting season and you likely will improve your home security as well as the beauty of our neighborhood.
Spring Challenge:Should you see your neighbors outside planting this spring, stop and talk to them; introduce yourself. Alert neighbors are, by far, the best means of security.
1. A Peddler’s License is required.
2. A photo ID must be worn on outside clothing.
3.  Door-to-door solicitations are prohibited after 6:00 p.m.
When you challenge solicitors about any of these requirements, each person should produce the proper credentials and obey the time frames allowed, or should immediately leave your premises upon your demand.
What is National Night Out?
It’s America’s Night Out Against Crime!
A National Night Out Campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials.  National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized.


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