“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.
Submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: We will be away from home for a week and would like to know what we can do to keep my property safe while I am away?
A: Great question, by implementing a few low to no cost practices, reduces your chance of being a victim to a crime/burglary.
Lighting is a great crime prevention practice and crime deterrent. I recommend putting your indoor and outdoor lights on timers to mimic your normal day to day routine. Using a common outlet timer for your lamps is a great way to maintain the same lighting schedule as if you were home. If you watch television in the evening, most modern television systems allow you to program your TV turn on and off at certain times.
Technology is constantly improving and there are numerous doorbell/camera manufacturers that allow their system to connect to your home’s wifi/internet, which allows you to access your doorbell camera through your smartphone application. Some systems even allow you to talk to the individual through your doorbell camera system.
Neighbors looking out for neighbors is still one of the best burglary deterrences. When you plan to be away from home, let a trusted neighbor know to keep a watchful eye on your home while away, and do the same for them when they are away.
Make arrangements with the post office to hold your mail, and place a vacation hold on any newspaper subscriptions. If you are expecting a package, ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for the package and hold if for you until you return. If you receive numerous packages, you may wish to purchase a “parcel drop box," which is a safe secure way to hold your package until you return.
Exterior motion lights and proper yard maintenance (clearing snow from walks and driveway during the winter, or mowing/maintaining your lawn in summer) can also provide deterrence of criminal activity.
Create a vacation checklist:
1. Place newspaper and mail on hold.
2. Contact my neighbors regarding departure dates and arrange for trash/recycle to be returned to the house.
3. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for packages.
4. Schedule inside and outside light timers.
5. Turn off water supply.
The Red Wing Police Department will also provide free home security surveys. A security survey is an inspection of your home/business that utilizes crime prevention best practices in making recommendations on how you can best reduce your chances of being a victim of crime. To schedule a home/business security survey, contact CSO Tim Bohmbach at 651-267-2609.
Stay aware, stay safe!
1. National Institute of Justice - Improved Street Lighting https://www.crimesolutions.gov/PracticeDetails.aspx?ID=38
2. AARP, located online at: https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2018/protecting-home-while-away.html
3. Minnesota Crime Prevention Association. http://www.mncpa.net/
4. National Crime Prevention Association. http://archive.ncpc.org/programs/national-crime-prevention-association/index.html