ABILENE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Safety at Home
Safety Tips While Driving
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- Keep car doors locked at all times.
- Before leaving your house or the store to go to your car, look around and be aware of what is going on.
- Always have your keys ready to unlock the door so you can enter without delay.
- As you are entering your car, look into the back seat.
- Always have at least half a tank of gas in your car.
- Keep your vehicle in good shape.
- Travel on well-lighted streets and avoid taking short cuts.
- If you are followed, drive to the nearest open business for help or drive to the police or fire department. Never go home while being followed.
- Park in areas that will be well lighted when you return to your car.
- Don't leave your house keys with your car when having your car serviced.
- Women driving alone should never stop to aid a stranger in a stalled car. Proceed to an open business and report the car to the police.
- If you have car trouble, raise the hood, then stay in your car. When someone offers assistance, do not roll the window down. Talk to them through the window and ask them to call someone for you. Never go with a stranger.
- Notify your family and friends of your travel plans.
Safety Tips While Walking
- Avoid walking alone. Walk with someone or where other people are near.
- Stay in well lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes, and entry ways. Avoid shortcuts through parks, vacant lots, and other deserted areas.
- Don't hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
- If a car pulls along beside you and the driver calls you over to ask a question, avoid getting near the car.
- If you are followed, go to the nearest business for help. Turn around and walk in the other direction. This will force the driver to turn around to follow you.
- Avoid carrying extra money or valuables on your person. If you must carry a purse, keep it close. Don't dangle it.
- Remember to be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Don't walk alone, especially at night. Your vulnerability to street crime is reduced as much as 70 percent by simply being in a group.
Tips for Dating and to Singles
- Don't go to or leave from a club alone. You are safer in numbers.
- Don't accept blind dates.
- Don't accept rides from strangers.
- Don't take a first time acquaintance home.
- If you must leave with a first time acquaintance, make sure a friend knows the person and where you're going.
- Don't go to private places on a date until you are better acquainted.
- Don't give out personal information until you are better acquainted.
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Drug Use and Gang Activity
Signs of Drug Use
NEED ANSWERS? Below you will find information on Signs of Drug Use and Gang Activity
Methamphetamines: "Wired," sleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, dialated pupils, excited, talkative, deluded sense of power, paranoia, depression, loss of control, nervousness, unusual sweating, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, violence, dizziness, mood changes, blurred vision, mental confusion, agitation.
Cocaine: Impaired thinking, confused, anxious, depressed, short tempered, panic attacks, suspiciousness, dilated pupils, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, decreased sexual drive, restlessness, irritability, very talkative, scratching, hallucinations, paranoia.
LSD (Acid): Dilated pupils, skin discoloration, loss of coordination, false sense of power, euphoria, distortion of time and space, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, loss of control, anxiety, panic, helplessness, and self destructive behavior.
PCP: Sometimes violent or bizarre behavior, suicide has often occurred, paranoia, fearfulness, anxiety, aggressive or withdrawn, skin flushing, sweating, dizziness, total numbness, and impaired perceptions.
Inhalants: Short-lasting euphoria, giggling, silliness, dizziness. Then come the headaches and full-blown "faintings" or going unconscious. Longterm Use: Short-term memory loss, emotional instability, impairment of reasoning, slurred speech, clumsy staggering gait, eye flutter, tremors, hearing loss, loss of sense of smell, and escalating stages of brain atrophy. Sometimes these serious longterm effects are reversible with body detoxification and nutritional therapy; sometimes the brain damage is irreversible or only partially reversible.
Heroin: Chemically enforced euphoria. "Nodding," which is a dreamlike state, near sleep, drifting off for minutes or hours. For long time abusers heroin may act like a stimulant and they can do a normal daily routine; however, for others, it leaves them completely powerless to do anything.
Marijuana: Compulsive eating, bloodshot red eyes that are squinty (they may have trouble keeping them open), dry mouth, excessive and uncontrollable laughter, forgetfulness, short term memory loss, extreme lethargy, delayed motor skills, occasional paranoia, hallucinations, laziness, lack of motivation, stupidity, sickly sweet smell on body, hair, and clothes, and strong mood changes and behaviors when the person is "high".
Depressants (Tranquilizers and Barbituates): Decreased inhibition, slowed motor coordination, lethargy, relaxed muscles, staggering gait, poor judgement, slow, uncertain reflexes, disorientation, and slurred speech.
A gang is defined as an organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, which has a common name and/or common identifying signs or symbols, whose members individually and/or collectively engage in criminal activity.
- Identity through recognition
- Perception of belonging
- Peer pressure
- Protection (real or perceived)
- Lack of family life
- Family ties to gangs (it is expected or acceptable to join a gang)
- Brotherhood/interpersonal bonding
- Low self-esteem
How Do Gangs Recruit Members?
Gangs influence youths into joining by using the following methods:
Peer pressure, offers protection
Challenging kids to take risks
Invitations to parties where gang-related activities are occurring
Family members already belong
Affection and attention shown to the youths by gang members that may not be given at home
What Are The Consequences of Gang Involvement?
Short Term Consequences
In trouble with law enforcement
Drop in performance at school
Withdrawal from family
Drug and alcohol involvement
“Dirty work” for the gang, earning their “bones” or “stripes”
Long Term Consequences
Loss of opportunities for education/employment due to criminal record
Time spent in jail or prison
Possibility of losing family or friends
Risk of personal injury or death
Risk of family members’ lives
Increased risk of violence in criminal activity
What Are Signs of a Gang in My Neighborhood?
Youths hanging out
Increase in crime- Gang-related acts such as burglary, vandalism and assaults.
How Can Neighbors Help?
You and your neighbors can work to eliminate gangs and drugs from your community and neighborhoods. They key is organization:
1) Get to know the neighbors on your block.
2) Contact your local law enforcement agency for advice and assistance for organization tips.
3) Contact Crime Stoppers
What Are Signs of Gang Involvement?
Changes in attitude or behavior
Openly admits gang affiliation
Showing colors (bandanas, t-shirts, jackets, shoes, ball caps)
Association with known gang members
Unwillingness to discuss their activities
Loss of family interest
Reluctance to be seen with other family members
Unexplained injuries (cuts and bruises)
Trouble with law enforcement or at school
Has unexplained cash or goods (clothing, jewelry, electronics)
Tattoos or graffiti-style writing on clothing or books
Disregard for persons or property
Exhibiting signs of alcohol and drug use
How Can Parents Intervene?
Spend quality time with your child.
Encourage your child to become involved in athletics or other group activities that have adult supervision.
Set reasonable rules and enforce them consistently.
Demonstrate how to set goals.
Monitor and support child’s progress.
Teach social skills that enhance self-esteem and how to cope with peer pressure.
Educate the teen or child about the dangers of gang involvement.
Provide strong religious background.
Keep an open line of communication with your child.
Know your child’s friends and where they hang out.
Keep track of your child’s work at school.
Teens and children need to be involved with positive activities without a lot of leisure time.
Keep them involved in after-school activities, athletics or a job along with family time.
Photo by Steve Butman Photography
AUTO THEFT PREVENTION
Reduce your chances of being a victim of auto theft by following these tips:
- Lock your car. Take the keys.
- Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
- Roll up windows completely.
- Park in well lighted areas.
- Park as close as possible to an open business.
- Do not leave valuables insight to tempt a thief.
- If you have a garage, use it and lock your garage door.
- Never leave your car running while it is unattended.
Calling the Police after a vehicle theft
A vehicle theft should be reported as soon as possible. However, before the vehicle can be listed as stolen, you must have your vehicle's license plate number and/or the vehicle identification number (also known as the VIN number).
After you phone in the necessary information, you may be asked to wait a short period of time for the police officer to call you back. A desk duty officer will take your report over the telephone. By making a report over the phone, the needed information about your vehicle can be entered directly into the police department's computer system. This enables police officers to immediately identify your vehicle as being stolen.
Burglary and Theft
A burglary is the act of entering a home or apartment, or building, not open to the public, with the intent to commit a crime.
A theft has been committed if someone unlawfully obtains property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.
Apartment Dwellers Be Alert
- Have you taken the proper action to prevent the possibility of becoming a victim?
- Keep doors and windows locked at all times
- If you move into a previously occupied apartment, make sure locks have been changed
- Use a door peephole. Always acknowledge a caller at your door, but do not open it.
- Some burglars ring the doorbell, and if there is no answer, they break in.
- Use latching devices on all windows. In many cases entry is made through a window.
- Window latches that secure both the inside and outside can provide another effective means of thwarting the would-be burglar.
- Use secondary locks on sliding glass doors. Usually, a sliding door is secluded from the public view, making it a perfect place for thieves to enter. Keeping burglars occupied for several minutes trying to get a door or window open, will frustrate them and they will move on.
- When away for an extended period of time, cancel mail and suspend newspaper delivery
- Have a trusted neighbor watch your apartment while you are away. The watchful eyes of your neighbor are some of the best crime prevention tools available
Automatic Teller Machine and Night Deposit Safety
- Protect the personal identification number (PIN) you use with your ATM. Do not write it on your card. Stand directly in front of the ATM when you enter your number so no one can look over your shoulder.
- Try to have another person accompany you when using your ATM or night deposit
- Be ready to conduct your transaction before you approach the ATM or Night Deposit. Conduct your business quickly and do not loiter in the vicinity.
- At night, use an ATM or Night Deposit that is well lighted.
- Be observant when you use your ATM or Night Deposit. Be cautious of anyone who is loitering around your ATM or Night Deposit. Do not stop to talk to strangers.
- Leave quickly if you are approached while using ATM or Night Deposit
- Put away your money as soon as you withdraw it from the ATM. Do not stand by the ATM and count your money. Do not openly carry money to your ATM or Night Deposit. Keep it concealed until you are ready to make the deposit.
- Always take your receipt from the ATM. Do not leave it in the machine or lying on the ground nearby since the receipt shows your account number.
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