October is National Crime Prevention Month. Every October, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations reach out to educate the public on what we can do to prevent crime.
What can you do?
Learn about programs in your community designed to prevent bullying, drug use, gang violence, and identity theft.
Be observant. Pay attention to your neighbors and neighborhood. If you see something unusual, SAY SOMETHING.
Keep your doors locked and protect your valuables. Always be aware of your surroundings. This counts for Internet safety as well.
Call 911 in an emergency, but also keep your local police department’s number handy for those non-emergency situations.
Join the Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood. If your area doesn’t have one, start one.
To prevent Identity theft, never give out your social security number or account numbers. Never write down passwords. Make sure no one is watching you at ATMs either.
Ensure your children’s use of the Internet is monitored at all times.
Spread the word. I will be posting web sites throughout the month of October with helpful resources.
Image Credit: ncpc.org
Stay safe everyone!
The point of life was to press on, to do the best you can, to make the world a better place.Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Last weekend I attended the Writer’s Police Academy. Every year for the past three years, I had tried to attend but always had scheduling conflicts. This year they moved the dates to the beginning of September and it worked out perfectly. I was so thrilled to attend the event, even if it meant flying across the country to do so.
Image Credit: Writer’s Police Academy
The weather was perfect the entire time I spent in Greensboro, North Carolina. And I met a lot of writers and law enforcement that made the event well worth attending, even before the classes began! There were hands-on opportunities and Lee Lofland and his staff did an awesome job putting the event together. As a former event coordinator, I know the amount of work behind the scenes and organization required for an event of this size and magnitude. And it went off without any noticeable hiccups.
For a writer, especially a crime writer, these types of events are crucial for background research. But I was surprised to find many romance authors in attendance as well.
I won’t go into detail about every session I attended (as I posted on my Twitter and Facebook feeds), but I did include a few photos below. I found some of the sessions were too general, such as Gangs and Prostitution, which could have been narrowed down to get more detail. In the Gangs session, we discussed the Bloods/Crips and touched on female gangs, but never really got into Prison Gangs or drug cartels and how they fit in the picture. Again, this session was pretty basic and was perfect for an introductory crowd.
Other sessions were taught by very experienced law enforcement and included stories of their professional pursuits. These were great to hear and provided great color to the world they live in. On the flip side, some of the information provided was so geared toward Greensboro, North Carolina that it was not as valuable to someone like me, writing about Los Angeles, California.
The most impressive sessions were the hands-on sessions. I was lucky enough to attend the Building Searches session, which gave us an introduction on how to search a building and the tools needed, and the ability to actual run through several apartments to test our own skills. It was thrilling and eye-opening. And definitely something I will use in future stories.
I was also able to join a select group to tour a local jail. The group was a bit large to get all our questions answered (and heard), but the experience was amazing. I am currently writing a scene that takes place at Twin Towers in Los Angeles, so it was very helpful.
I learned quite a bit at the conference and encourage anyone interested in writing crime to attend future events. In fact, I will try to attend a future event as well. Although, I have a few Citizen Academies to get through first.
Captain Randy Shepherd displaying the tools needed for Building Searches.
Felony Stop Demonstration
Explosive K-9 Reno alerting on backpack in the parking lot.
Explosive Robot inspecting backpack.
Greensboro Hazardous Devices Team suiting up.
Placing a charge to open the bag and “render it safe.”
Assistant Fire Marshall J.E. Coble setting fire to a couch.
Fire engulfs small room in seconds.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
”..the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted.LaBrava by Elmore Leonard