WEST ORANGE, NJ - Officer Jason Padilla of the West Orange Police Department stopped by the Township Council meeting on August 12 to offer residents some important tips on staying safe and protecting their property.
In the spirit of National Night Out, a yearly nationwide event that strives to "help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days,” Officer Padilla provided some important suggestions to the West Orange community.
As residents head off for vacation in the final weeks of summer, Officer Padilla suggested that no one should post that they are away on vacation on social media. In addition, he underscored the importance of protecting children as they use the internet and go online by vigilant monitoring, secure passwords, and ongoing information about internet safety.
Other Vacation Suggestions
Make sure newspapers and mail are taken care of, either by having neighbors collect it or by canceling while out of town. If residents have home alarm systems, use them, and be sure all windows and doors are locked if you are away. Indoor and outdoor lighting to give the appearance of being home is a good safety measure.
Traffic and Bike Safety
Crimes of Opportunity
Crimes of Opportunity are the most prolific crimes in West Orange, and nowhere is that more apparent than vehicle break ins. Officer Padilla reminded residents that leaving valuables in a vehicle, locked or unlocked, and in plain view, increased the chances of vehicle break ins.
"Don't leave your cars unlocked; don't leave laptops, purses, cell phones, or GPS units in vehicles so that they can be seen," he emphasized.
Parking in a well-lit area where your vehicle is highly visible will also deter thieves, especially if there is constant traffic and other people walking by. Parking your vehicle in a dimly lit, remote area of a parking lot or garage makes your vehicle an easy target. Set your alarm.
Be A Good Neighbor
Talking to neighbors and setting up a plan could be a valuable way to stay informed as to suspicious activity in the area. If a car alarm is heard, it’s recommended to always check it out.
If your car is broken into, immediately report the incident to the police by calling 973-325-4000. For emergencies or crimes in progress, call 9-1-1.