How to Protect Your Home

Most houses and apartments are protected by ineffective door and window locks. For external door frames, opt for solid wood or steel. Hinges should be positioned on the inside of the door so that a thief with a screwdriver is unable to remove the door. Dead bolt locks are a necessary investment. Sliding glass doors are a common entry point. For maximum security, use vertical bolts. Also, place a solid wood rod on the inside track to hold the door closed. The professional, semi-professional and even the amateur burglar look for these types of protection.

Overgrown large trees or shrubs can hide burglary activity around your home entry points, trim or remove them. Fences can be effective, but they may be a liability in hiding a burglar's privacy.  Any dog that barks at strangers brings unwanted attention to a thief. Personal residence should be well lighted and motion-sensitive lighting are recommended. Garage doors are another frequent entry point. The door that connects your garage to your home should have solid wood or solid core construction. Never rely on the electric garage door opener as your security.

Back doors are a popular target because they offer concealment from the street. Ground windows should have key-operated sash locks. Screen and storm windows should be fastened to the structure, and upper windows should be locked. Second  floor should be secured by trimming branches to prevent climbing, keep ladders where burglars can’t use them.

When you move into a new residence, change all locks immediately. You don't know what previous tenant may have a key. Ask your neighbors to report suspicious persons or activities around your home to law enforcement. Alarms on doors and windows are the surest way to detect a burglar, but watchful neighbors can notify law enforcement authorities to unusual activity. 

Before vacationing, protect your home by creating an illusion of everyday activity. Ask the police to patrol your neighborhood while you are away. Stop the mail and newspaper deliveries. Secure all doors, windows, pet entrances and garage doors. Transfer valuables to a safety deposit box. Place a timer on indoor and outdoor lamps to illuminate your home at night, and make sure no bulbs are out. Never indicate on your phone answering machine or social media that you are on vacation.

Drug Use and Gang Activity

NEED ANSWERS? Below you will find information on Signs of Drug Use and Gang Activity

Signs of Drug Use

Methamphetamines: "Wired," sleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, dilated 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.

 

What is a Gang?

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.

 

Why Do Kids Join Gangs?

Identity through recognition
Perception of belonging
Peer pressure
Intimidation
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
Monetary enticements
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?

Graffiti

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)

New Friends

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.