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Press Release: October 5th, 2010 NCPC Article 2/5

For Immediate Release: Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa Celebrates Safe Communities as a part of National Crime Prevention Month.

Amite, LA – October is the month that was designated in 1984 as National Crime Prevention Month by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). All over the country, it is the official month of crime prevention. It is a time to celebrate our successes in crime prevention and a time to educate ourselves about the things that we as citizens can do to make our communities safer places to live.

In the past, it was thought that we were helpless against crime and that there was nothing that we could do to prevent ourselves from being victimized. Well that thinking has changed. As citizens, we have the power to prevent crime and we play the most important part in successful crime prevention efforts. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at one time, so it is our job to be their eyes and ears and to support them in keeping our homes and communities safe.

Celebrate Safe Communities(CSC) was launched in 2008, by long time partners the NCPC, the National Sheriff’s Association(NSA), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance(BJA). This initiative was designed to help local law enforcement and their community partners kick off National Crime Prevention Month every October. CSC highlights a community’s crime prevention efforts, increases the publics’ awareness of crime prevention and public safety issues, and hopes to increase year round support of ongoing prevention activities that help keep our neighborhoods safe from crimes and prepared for any emergency. Community members of all ages should recognize that a safer community is no accident and that crime prevention is everyone’s business every day of the year, not just in the month of October. Since the inception of Celebrate Safe Communities, the initiative has reached over 250 communities in 36 states.

What can you do to Celebrate Safe Communities and National Crime Prevention Month?

  1. Educate yourself about Crime Prevention – there are many free resources on the internet that offer printable and downloadable safety tips and information. You can even find safety tips specific to a situation- such as preparing your family, home, and vehicle for travel. A few of the resources for free information are www.ncpc.org , www.usaonwatch.org , and www.mcgruff.org for kids.

  2. Start a Neighborhood Watch Group – Get to know your neighbors! Watch out and help out one another. Partnerships between neighborhoods and local law enforcement are the best way to prevent crime in your area and it’s free. It takes everyone working together, but it works! Visit www.NATW.org for your free Neighborhood Watch Startup Kit.

  3. Say “Thank you” to your local law enforcement – Remember the car accident that you were in? Did you ever thank the officers and emergency responders that helped you and your family? Make it a point this month to sincerely thank all of the men and women that work so hard to protect and serve you. Write a letter to your local papers editor thanking someone in law enforcement that has helped you personally. This will increase morale and build stronger community partnerships between local law enforcement and the community.

  4. Educate your friends, family, church, or co-workers about Crime Prevention and Safety– In addition to the free safety tips and resources I mentioned above, your local law enforcement has many, many programs and services that they offer to the public that they serve - from child fingerprinting and car seat safety, to prescription drug abuse information and internet safety. Ask them to come and speak to your church or at your employer to speak about safety and current laws.

  5. Get Involved – Become a volunteer! Make a phone call, send an email, and write a letter to find out how you can help your local law enforcement and other public safety or community service organizations in your community through volunteerism. You would probably not be surprised to find out that they are almost always in need of volunteers! You may be able to do something rewarding and exciting to help your community and the other people who live in it. Again, building partnerships and investing in our community’s future is so important to the overall good and safety of our community long term.

  6. Give Back – Support your local law enforcement, crime fighting organizations, and community service organizations. Make a donation - $1.00, $5.00, or $10.00. The amount of money does not matter - it’s your support that counts! In these economic times of budget cuts, funding resource problems and just overall hard times for many organizations every little bit helps. Many times there is an officer and his family who is in need. Call your local law enforcement to find out how you can help.

Celebrate Safe Communities in which ever way you choose this month. CSC is being observed nationally, October 7th – 9th. Remember to actively practice crime prevention and to raise awareness in your neighborhood, community, and parish. You are the success of Crime Prevention Month!

Please call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa if you have information to share about a crime. Call our anonymous tip line 1-800-554-5245 (JAIL) or visit www.tangicrimestoppers.com . You will never be asked for your name and you may also be eligible for a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest.

Article submitted by Jodie W. Powell, CEO/ Executive Director, Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa, Inc.

Sources, excerpts, and information for article from National Crime Prevention Council (www.ncpc.org) and Celebrate Safe Communities (www.celebratesafecommunities.org ).