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Ridley Park Police Department

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Crime Prevention

Crime is on the increase in most large U.S. cities and our community is not immune to it. Making yourself less of a target is simpler than you might think. By educating the community on crime prevention techniques and by getting citizens involved in crime prevention activities such as neighborhood watch, we can reduce the number of crimes in our community and increase the quality of life for its citizens. A citizen’s police academy will be starting soon.

Personal Safety

Street Smarts

Walk purposefully. Communicate the message that you are calm, confident, know where you are going, and know what is going on around you. Stand tall, and make quick, but deliberate eye contact with people around you.

If you suspect you are being followed, turn and walk quickly in the opposite direction. Go to a well-lighted and well-populated area.

Walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic. This will prevent a car from sneaking up on you.

Avoid walking alone, and stay away from dark streets. Avoid short cuts through deserted areas.

Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.

Avoid street solicitors trying to sell you something at a bargain price.

Try not to carry a purse, but if you must, carry it securely under your arm. NEVER wrap the purse strap around your arm or enter a tug-of-war if a thief grabs your purse. You could be seriously injured.

BE AWARE! Stay alert and use good judgment, so you can avoid becoming an easy target. Trust your instincts, they are usually right.

Vehicle Safety

Park in well-lighted areas so you can see your car and its surroundings from as far away as possible.
Have your car keys ready before you approach the car, so you do not make yourself vulnerable while searching for the right key.
Glance into the back seat and floorboards of your car before you enter, checking for anyone who may be hiding inside.
Always lock all doors, whether you are in or out of your car. Keep the windows rolled up enough so that an arm cannot be inserted through the window opening. Keep your purse on the floor or under the seat so it is out of view of any passerby when you are stopped at a traffic light.
If you are bumped from behind by another vehicle, do not immediately exit your vehicle. ASSESS THE SITUATION. If you feel uneasy, remain in your vehicle until the police arrive. If the other party leaves the scene, try to note the tag number and vehicle description, but do not follow the vehicle.
If someone threatens you with a weapon, give up your vehicle immediately. DO NOT FIGHT OR ARGUE. Your life is more important than your car. If your car breaks down, raise the hood to signal for help. If possible, remain inside your vehicle. If someone stops to assist you, have him/her call for help. DO NOT allow them inside your vehicle, and do not accept a ride from them.
If you believe you are being followed by another vehicle, DO NOT DRIVE INTO YOUR DRIVEWAY OR PARK ON A DESERTED STREET. Pull over to the curb at a spot where there are people, and let the car pass you. If the car continues to follow you, drive to the nearest place where you can get help (gas station, police station, fire station etc.).

Office Safety

Do not leave your purse unattended on or in your desk. Keep it with you or hide it in a locked desk drawer or cabinet.
Never give telephone numbers or addresses of fellow employees to anyone without their permission, and use discretion in revealing your own personal plans to people at work.
Be suspicious of unannounced or unexpected persons claiming to be repair or service people. Ask for their company ID and call the company for verification of repair/service.

Public Elevators

Look inside the elevator before entering. If someone suspicious is already on the elevator, DO NOT get in.
If you are waiting for an elevator and someone approaches who makes you feel uncomfortable, DO NOT get on the elevator with that person. Pretend you have forgotten something and leave or wait for the next elevator.
Once on the elevator, try to stand next to the control panel. If someone on the elevator bothers you, press all the buttons on the panel. This will sound the alarm and open the doors on all the floors allowing you an opportunity to escape the situation.

Hotel/Motel Safety

Use all of the available locks when occupying or leaving your room.
Know who is knocking before you open the door. If they say they work for the hotel, verify this by calling the front desk before opening the door.
Locate fire exits, elevators and public phones. Plan the best way to get out of the building in an emergency.
Leave your television on when leaving your room to make it appear occupied.

Safety at Home

Lock your doors and windows when you are home. Too often, criminals get into homes through unlocked windows and doors.
A peephole with a 180-degree viewing angle is best to verify who is on the other side of the door. NEVER open the door to someone you do not know.
Always acknowledge a caller at your door, but do not open it. Call to the person through the locked door to determine who they are and what they want. Some burglars ring the doorbell, and if there is no answer, they break in.
If an intruder confronts you inside your home, try to remain calm. Only you will be able to determine your best course of action. Be aware that there is a potential for violence in this type of situation.

Holiday Safety

As the holiday season approaches and with more of us shopping on-lne, beware of package theft! Stay Vigilant! Watch out for your neighbors also. If you know a package is being delivered, try to make arrangements to get it inside as soon as possible. If you see a suspicious person, get a license plate number or the best description possible and CALL 911! Cell phone cameras take great pictures of thieves.

Lost Child Safety Tips

Act immediately if you believe your child is missing.

Immediately call your local law enforcement agency.

After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).


If your child is missing from home, search through:
Piles of laundry.
In and under beds.
Inside large appliances.
Vehicles – including trunks.
Anywhere else that a child may crawl or hide.


Notify the store manager or security office if your child cannot be found when in a store. Then immediately call your local law enforcement agency. Many stores have a Code Adam plan of action in place.


When you call law enforcement:

Provide law enforcement with your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and descriptions of any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces.

Tell them when you noticed your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing.
Request law enforcement authorities immediately enter your child’s name and identifying information into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Identity Theft Tips

Reduce your chances of being a victim of identity theft by remaining vigilant in all financial matters and taking precautions to protect your personal identifiers.

Identity thieves can find ways to exploit your personal information in all avenues of your life. At work, at home, and on the Internet, your daily activities offer multiple opportunities for criminals to obtain your personal information.

Making yourself aware of the issues and information is the first step in safeguarding against identity theft. By making a slight change in your daily routine, you may be able to thwart a criminal from obtaining your personal information.

Your Personal Financial Matters

Order and closely review copies of your credit report from each national credit reporting agency once a year.

Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and IDs.

Close all unused credit card or bank accounts.

Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other financial information you don’t want before discarding them in the trash or recycling bin.

Remove your name from mailing lists for pre-approved credit lines by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).

Remove your name, phone number and home address from marketing lists by contacting the Direct Marketing Association. This will not prevent your name from being placed on all marketing lists, but it removes your information from many of them.

DMA Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

DMA Telephone Preference Service
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014


Only release your personal data (social security number, date of birth, bank account or credit account numbers, etc.), to agencies who require it for action you have initiated. Never give this information to unsolicited telephone callers or over the Internet.

Contact the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and request assignment of an alternate driver’s license number if it currently features your Social Security number. Furthermore, submit a request to limit access to the personal information on your Driver’s License under the Driver Privacy Protection Act.


Your Daily Activities

Ensure that your PIN numbers cannot be observed by anyone while you’re utilizing an ATM or public telephone.
Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank counters, trash receptacles or unattended gasoline pumps.
Memorize your social security number and all passwords. Do not record them on any cards or on anything in your wallet or purse.


Your Mail

Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery.
Deposit outgoing mail in post collection boxes or at your local post office.
Contact your creditor or service provider if expected bills don’t arrive.

Never put your credit card or any other financial account number on a postcard or on the outside of an envelope.

Beware of promotional solicitations through the mail or telephone that offer instant prizes or awards and seek to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.


On the Internet

Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal financial data at any web site or on-line service location unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.

Don’t email your personal data unless you use encryption technology
Be very careful when giving information on unknown web sites, especially ones found in Spam



Do not give out your checking account information on the internet, unless you are dealing directly with your bank’s website.

Make sure every transaction you engage in on the Internet is over a secure connection. You should see a lock in your browser window, as well as “https” in the browser window.

Consider making a secondary, disposable online identity with an incorrect address, phone number using a “free” email account.

Tips for the Disabled & Elderly During Winter

Winter is a fun time for young people with endless imagination of what all they can do with snow. For the elderly and disabled, snow can bring about more obstacles and potential hazards. It is important for all of our seniors to be safe at all times when out in the snow with the family or just strolling through it as a daily routine. Here are some tips for seniors, especially those who are disabled, to stay safe during winter.


1. Make Sure the Home is Prepared: If health or mobility issues prevent you from doing the more grueling home tasks like shoveling, make pre-arrangements to have some neighbor kids, family, or friends help you out. Getting to the mail box or the car can be nightmare for someone with a walker or wheelchair in two feet of snow so make sure the driveway and walkways are cleared often. Also make sure the house is properly arranged to get around efficiently, re-arrange furniture, install grab bars, etc.


2. Stock Up: Make sure all appropriate prescriptions are filled and that there is plenty of food in the house. If snow closes down on certain roads or affects the power supply in your house, you will want to be prepared. Stock up on batteries, as well as wood if you have a fire place. Staying warm is essential during winter, especially for the elderly.


3. Keep your Cellphone Charged at All Times: In case of a severe storm or catastrophe, keep a cell phone fully charged whenever you are at home. This way if you do get snowed in or your power goes out, you will be able to call for help, if needed. This one cannot be stressed enough as one of the leading causes of death during the winter is lack of communication. If you rely on electric heat to keep you warm and have no fireplace, call for help IMMEDIATELY when you are snowed in.


4. Move Slow, Move Light: When you’re walking on the snow, whether it’s to the mailbox or around the block to see a friend, walk slowly and maintain your balance. Those who require walking aids, make sure the bottom of your walker or cane have the rubber tips on so that when you put weight on them they won’t slip out from underneath you. It is not a very good idea to use rollators on the snow so be sure you have the proper walking aid.


5. Counteract “Cabin Fever”: Nobody likes to be cooped up at home with nothing to do for a such a long period of time. If you or your elder loved one is alone, give them a call once in a while to see how they are doing, if nothing else just to chat. Make sure there are books, games, anything to stimulate the mind in the house. Boredom can lead to anxiety which can lead to unwanted stress during the winter. Have a hobby to keep your mind away from the potential hazards of the season.


As we get older we all grow more vulnerable to nature. The key is simply preparation and taking the necessary precautions to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy the winter rather than dread it.

Auto Theft Prevention

While there is no foolproof way to safeguard a vehicle against theft, there are many “no cost” deterrents owners can use to protect themselves and their automobiles. For example, a thief’s greatest enemy is time. The more difficult your vehicle is to steal, the longer it takes to be stolen. The longer it takes, the more likely it is that the thief will move on to an easier target.

Don’t become complacent because you drive an older-model vehicle. Older vehicles can be resold quickly or stripped for parts. A vehicle’s parts are worth two or three times the value of the vehicle.

Here are some tips to help protect you and your vehicle:

Close all windows, lock all doors and take the keys with you. A large percentage of stolen vehicles had the keys in them.

Never hide a second set of keys anywhere on your vehicle. Thieves know all the hiding places.

Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will only be gone for a minute; Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations & ATMs.

Park in well-lighted areas. Over 50 percent of vehicle thefts occur at night.

Use your garage; lock both the vehicle and the garage. Locking both doors greatly reduces the chance of theft.

Keep your garage door opener with you. The thief may attempt to get into your house.

Don’t leave your original registration or title in your car. File the title at home in a safe place and carry your registration in your purse or wallet. When sharing a vehicle, provide a copy of the registration to other drivers to carry in their purse or wallet. If a thief has these two documents, your car will be easier to sell.

Park in attended lots. Thieves don’t like witnesses.

Park your vehicle with wheels turned toward the curb, even when parking in driveways and parking lots. This makes your vehicle difficult to tow.

Don’t become complacent because you drive an older-model vehicle. Older cars can be resold quickly or stripped for parts. A vehicle’s parts are worth two to three times the value of the car.

Put all packages and personal items out of sight. Items left in the open make your vehicle a more desirable target.

Have your VIN number etched onto your windows. This makes it difficult for a thief to switch VIN numbers on a stolen vehicle.

Prevention Devices

An anti-theft device is a device that helps prevent vandalism to or theft of a motor vehicle and its contents. They can be locking devices, cut-off devices, alarms, sensors or tracking devices. Other methods of anti-theft protection include etching of the vehicle identification number (VIN). Many insurance companies give discounts for each method used.

Types of Locking Devices

Steering Wheel Bar Lock — The most popular is The Club, a steel bar that clamps on the steering wheel and makes the vehicle impossible to steer. They are an effective deterrent because of their imposing presence on the steering wheel.

Steering Column Collar — Protects entry to the ignition through the column.

Tire/Wheel Locks — Tool wraps around the tire or wheel to immobilize the vehicle.

Gearshift Lock — Locks gearshift in place, making it impossible to shift transmission into gear.

Ignition Kill Switch — Toggle switch is spliced into the ignition that disables the vehicle when the switch is “off.”

Fuel Kill Switch — Switch is spliced into the fuel system wiring that halts fuel supply when “off.”

Alarm — A motor vehicle’s horn, bell, siren or other sounding device that is easily audible at 300 feet.

Some alarms have an automatic shut-off and reset capability that provides for the alarm to sound for not more than four minutes, shut off and then immediately rearm itself. Other alarms have a backup battery which is an auxiliary power source that trips an alarm device if the main power source is disconnected or if the wires to the alarm device are cut or disconnected.

Safety Tips for Children

General Child Safety for Parents


Straight talk with children works best when discussing the serious topic of personal safety with your children. Do not rely completely on puppets, coloring books, gimmicks, and cartoon characters.


Instill in your children a sense of self-worth and dignity at every opportunity.

Teach your children basic sex education, (i.e., the areas of the body that are covered by a bathing suit are private).


Establish that inappropriate touches are against the law. This gives your child confidence to assert themselves with those who try to abuse them.

Allow children to express affection on their terms. Do not instruct them to give kisses or hugs to people they do not know well.


Stress that there should be no secrets from you, especially those involving another adult.

Explain the importance of reporting abuse or attempted abuse to or another “Trusted Adult.” This would also apply to inappropriate touching.


Do not rely entirely on “The Buddy System.” In many documented cases, sisters, brothers, and playmates have been victims of terrible crimes when together.

Make it a priority to get to know your children’s friends and their families.

Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities. Children with many interests are less likely to experiment with drugs or other negative influences.

Teach your children to respect, admire, and celebrate the differences in people.

Ask questions about what your children are doing, where they are going, and whom they will be with.


“Set Times” to be home or check in. Have a back-up plan.

A child’s room should not be considered their private, personal domain where parents are not allowed to check them.
Monitor computer and Internet usage, daily, if possible.

Above all, encourage your children to recognize, trust, and follow their instincts about people and situations. Listen to their instincts.

Good Parenting is asking the hard questions and caring about the answers.


Stranger Safety Tips for Children


What is a stranger?


Simple, a stranger is someone that you do not know or your parents do not know. Strangers are even people you see every day. Not all strangers are bad, but it is very difficult to tell bad strangers from good strangers


Examples of strangers:


A person that you never met before.

A person that you may see often, but know nothing about; e.g., the ice cream person, mail person, newspaper person, or a neighbor.

A person whose name and address you do not know.

A person your parents do not know.

Strangers can come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Even a teenager could be considered a stranger to you.

Safety rules for dealing with strangers. If approached by a “stranger” you should:

Never talk to a stranger.

Never go near a stranger.

Never accept gifts or rides from a stranger.

If a stranger comes toward you, step backwards, turn around and run away.

Never go anywhere with a stranger.

Report strangers to your parents, teachers, bus drivers, or a responsible adult that you know well.

The main rule to remember: “Stay away from strangers.”


Examples of stranger scenarios:


What should you do if a stranger asks you for help or offers you candy, a toy, or a pet? Say “NO”, turn around and run away.

What should you do if a stranger asks you to go for a ride in their car? Say “NO”, and run in the opposite direction that the car is going.

What should you do if a stranger tries to grab you? You can yell for help! You can kick, scratch, or bite! You can run away as fast as you can.

What should you do if a stranger has a gun and tells you to go with him? Yell for HELP! Run away as fast as you can, and continue yelling for help.Go tell an adult.

Always remember to tell your parents, a police officer, a teacher, a bus driver, or another adult you trust and know, about what happened as soon as possible.


Being safe at home when you are alone


Always lock the door. Do not answer the door if someone knocks. Never let strangers into the house.

If the telephone rings, answer it. Do not tell anyone that you are alone. (You can tell them your parent cannot come to the phone right now). Ask who is calling, and offer to take a message.

If there is a storm, stay away from the windows.

Leave medicines and poisons alone, they can really hurt you.

Do not play or touch any guns that might be in the house.


Other rules for safety


Never go anywhere without first telling your parents, or the person in charge, where you are going, who is going with you, how you will get there, and when you will be back.

Always use the “Buddy System” when playing outside or going places.

Always say “NO” if someone tries to touch you in ways that make you feel frightened, uncomfortable, or confused. Always tell a grown-up that you trust about what happened.

Always go directly home from school or the bus stop.