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5 Tips to Keep Youth Safe from Drugs Online

  • Manage your teen’s expectations of privacy.
  • Educate yourself on slang terms and emoji “codes” for different types of drug use.
  • Learn how to spot potential dark web use.
  • Understand there may be no signs of addiction for your child to be at risk of overdose.
  • Don’t wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom; fentanyl can kill someone on their first use.

Here are some burglary prevention tips to help keep your property safe:

1) Keep the amount of people that know you are going away on vacation to a minimum. The more people that know you are going away the greater the chance of your residence being a target.

2) Contact the PD and fill out a vacation request form so we know when you are going away and for how long. We also need to know names of people permitted on the property.

3) Get a burglar alarm (which needs to be registered with the township) or get lots of alarm stickers that say your home is alarmed. The more "advertised" your home is alarmed the more likely burglars will move to another target home.

4) Having a dog is a great asset. A dog will alert you when there is trouble and keep potential burglars away.

5) If funds are available, a camera system on your property is a great tool in identifying burglars or possible attempted burglaries and help get PD some basic information.

6) Talk and get in contact with your neighbors and look out for one another. Having an unofficial neighborhood watch and keeping an eye on each other properties is a great benefit to you and the neighborhood.

7) Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to the police. Sometimes potential burglars will go and knock on doors to see if anyone is home. If a stranger makes contact at your home and something seems out of place or suspicious, please call the PD so we may be able to identify these people.

8) Make sure to lock ALL doors and windows when you leave the residence, even for short period of times. This is especially important in the summer time. That quick run to the grocery store could result in a burglar to easily gain access to your open doors and windows and steal your property.

9) At nightime, make good use of outdoor lamps. Motion detectors are best since they will only go off when motion is detected. This is more opt to grab attention than lamps that are on all night long. Regardless, the PD encourages people to leave outside lamps on when possible.

10) Also, be mindful of when your garage doors are open. The PD suggests to keep garage doors closed when no one is in the garage. A burglar could easily steal something from your garage, even if your inside the home. In conjunction with this, ALWAYS keep valuables out of vehicles and the vehicle doors locked. When possible, keep your cars inside the garage with garage door shut.

If you are an unfortunate victim of a burglary here are some tips the PD would ask to help capture those responsible:

1) Do not touch or disturb the burglarized area. Do not attempt to put things back in place. The more items that people handle or disturb the less likely of finding those responsible. Allow the officer to make a decision if the area can be processed for fingerprints or any other physical evidence.

2) Keep all large ticket item receipts in a secure area. If high dollar electronic equipment is stolen it will be beneficial to have serial numbers, makes and models of the stolen property. The more information that can be given, a greater chance of recovering the items later down the road.

3) Provide a detailed list of items that were taken for the officer. This will be needed for the report.

4) Advise the responding officer of any suspicious activity that was noticed prior to the burglary that was not thought of beforehand. If you have a potential suspect, you may relay that information to the officer and why you feel they may be a person of interest. The officer will make a determination if the lead is credible or not.

5) Get a vehicle or person description of anyone fleeing the area, prior to police response. A direction of travel is also beneficial to the responding officer and if they are on foot or in a vehicle.

6) If you have insurance, the PD will need the insurance company information and policy number of your home owners insurance for the report. This also should be kept some where secure and safe.

Identity theft is on the rise across the country, including our township. Identity theft crimes are almost impossible to prosecute since these criminals hide behind their computers, sometimes out of state or even out of the country. How you handle your personal information can determine if you could be a potential threat of ID theft. Once your identity is compromised, the amount of time and aggravation these criminals can put you through, are burdensome at best. Here are some tips to help safeguard your personal information.

1) When making purchases on websites, be sure that the site is trusted and verified before giving your credit card information. Sometimes hackers can attach a fraudulent site to a legitimate site and when you click a link, it takes you to the bogus website, which you do not suspect. As you are entering your personal information and you submit it, your actually giving the hacker the information instead. If the site doesn't look legitimate then DON"T USE THE SITE OR GIVE YOUR INFORMATION OVER IT.

2) When using a ATM machine, check the machine first to see if its been tampered. Hackers will sometimes place outside devices on the machine, and it looks legitimate, but when you insert your card and enter your pin your actually giving the hacker your debit card and pin number. If the machine looks tampered or you notice a device on the machine that doesn't look right, DON"T USE THE MACHINE. Contact the bank right away or the police department.

3) We all receive those annoying credit card applications in the mail, sometimes everyday. Make sure to shred those applications and don't just toss them in the trash. Those applications have your name and address on them and if criminals somehow get other personal information about you, they could open a fraudulent account. Invest in a shredder for that stuff.

4) When dining out or making purchases at a store, try to keep an eye on your card once you give it to an associate or server. This may not always be possible, but once you hand a credit card to another person, and they walk away with it, you have no idea what they may do with it. In cases like this, it might be better to carry cash on you and pay that way so your card stays with you.

5) If someone calls you by phone, be very cautious about giving your social security number and date of birth out. Sometimes criminal can look through the phone book and call you randomly and say they are with your bank or credit card company. They may try to solicit your personal information. Remember, be suspicious of this since most institutions will not ask for personal information over the phone. If they say they are from your bank or credit card company, you may want to call them yourself to verify or do it in person, if practical.

If you do become an unfortunate victim of ID theft or fraud, here are some tips to follow.

1) Immediately contact your bank or credit card company to have the card shut off, immediately. Also advise them of any unauthorized purchases you are aware of.

2) Contact your local police to get an incident report made. Most places requires this to verify that fraud was actually committed by an unauthorized person. Also some police departments may have "ID theft packets" to give you that will help you step by step what you need to do or who you need to contact.

3) Contact all three credit agencies and advise of the situation. You need to contact all three since they may not report to each other. You can advise them of the fraud and have them "flag" your information. This basically means if anyone attempts to open an account in your name, they will contact you first to see if it is legitimate or fraud.

4) Keep copies of the fraudulent activity that has occurred. In case down the road, additional issues arise, you will have a  folder of the police report and unauthorized purchases which then you can prove were reported.

Remember, in this day and age everything is being done by computers. Hackers are very knowledgeable in obtaining information they are looking for. Be alert with what you do with your personal information and have your credit report checked regular. The recommendation is once a year but the police department would recommend more regular intervals. By doing this, it is greater you will catch suspicious activity yourself then later down the road from your bank or credit card company.