“Cop’s Corner”

By Officer David L. Behm


 Hello Exeter Residents!  The Officers of the Exeter Township Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit hope that you have had a safe and happy Holiday season.    Our “snowless” winter is now upon us and soon the warm breezes of spring will blow away the cold weather and bring out the early flowers.  Our “Cop’s Corner” forum has been opened to contributions from multiple Officers over the past year, and I hope that you have enjoyed the various perspectives from your Department that have been printed.  I have again been asked to take a few moments of your time to offer some suggestions to help keep you and your loved ones safer in your home.

Spring cleaning means an “opening up” our homes to let out all that winter air.  We must be extra careful not “open up” our homes for criminals.  Bad guys seem to come out like all the other roaches and bugs when the weather gets warm.

 There are some simple things that you can do to keep your homes and your families safer.  I have outlined a few suggestions below for you to consider….

 TAKE A WALK around your house and look at it.  Not from the “is it nicer than the neighbor’s perspective,” but look at it like a bad guy would.  Are your bushes overgrown and covering windows?  Do the bushes create dark hiding places at night that some burglar could use to lurk?  Are all your outside lights functioning or do they need to be replaced?  Do you have enough outdoor lighting?  Are your house numbers clearly posted on the home and on the mailbox for emergency responders to see?  If you need help with suggestions or want an Officer’s input, contact the Exeter Police Crime Prevention Unit for a Home Security Survey.

 LET DOORS AND WINDOWS OPEN, BUT NOT TOO FAR!!   I have said before that old broom handles or wooden dowels make good, inexpensive safety locks for sliding doors and windows.  Consider leaving your sliding doors or windows open no more than three or four inches overnight.  You can make sure that no one outside can open them further by cutting down that old broom handle to the proper length, then laying it in the track between the door or window and the frame.  Make the handle or dowel just long enough to block the door from sliding past a three or four inch gap.  Some folks called this a “Charlie – bar.”  Guys, again, please make sure that this is NOT the only broom in the house BEFORE you cut the handle off to make the Charlie-bar!

 CHECK YOUR SHEDS AND GARAGE.  Do not discount the possibility that some burglars want to steal your tools.  No, it is NOT to use them to earn a living.  Usually, they just try to sell your stolen stuff for cash.  Pay attention to your garage and shed locks.  Are the windows secure, or are they flimsy, or even unlocked?  I realize that our priority must be on fortifying our homes, because people will ALWAYS be more important to safeguard than possessions.  However, I do not want to see you lose your property to some criminal that is too lazy to work and buy his own things.  Outbuildings are too often overlooked when we beef up our property security, and the bad guys know this.  Do not let your outbuilding be a “soft target” for criminals!  Pay the extra attention now and try to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

These are just a few of the tips and suggestions that I give people who ask me how they can make their homes safer.  Unfortunately, most folks do not think about these things until something bad happens to them or someone they know.  I hope this short list will help some of us think about different things we can do before bad guys target us.  Thank you for your time.  If you found Cop’s Corner to be helpful, please let your Township Office know.  There are more ideas and suggestions that I would happily provide in the future.  The Exeter Township Police Department is very supportive of Crime Prevention measures and wishes you the best in the coming year!

I continue to thank you for your time.  Have a safe spring!

David L. Behm, #166

Crime Prevention Officer