SFS, WFPD there to help prevent home invasions

  • Published
  • By Byron Harps
  • 82nd Security Forces Squadron
Recent home invasions locally have sparked concerns about home security in several communities.

Although no incidents have been reported on Sheppard proper, the 82nd Security Forces Squadron and the Wichita Falls Police Department are working together to inform communities on how to protect their homes from crime. The majority of crimes are crimes of opportunity or convenience where someone has made it easy for criminals. For example, if someone simply locks the doors of his or her car, crimes are less likely to occur.

The 82nd SFS and WFPD can provide information on a wide range of subjects. The information shows you how to protect your personal property and how to make your home less attractive to a potential thief. The information does not guarantee you freedom from crime; instead, it decreases your chances of becoming a victim.

WFPD provides several programs and services that include Home Inspection, Crime Prevention, Crime Stoppers, Drug Awareness Resistance Education and Child and Parent Programs/Identification. The programs are often age specific such as Stranger Danger, Home Alone for children, Internet Safety and Gangs/Bullying for teenagers, Personal Safety, Car Seat Safety Checks and Raising Drug-Free Kids are for adults.

Base residents can contact Security Forces Crime Prevention Officer, Byron Harps at 676-2106. You can also obtain additional information by calling the WFPD's Community Services Unit Crime Prevention & D.A.R.E. section at (940) 720-5007.

Information is also available online at the National Crime Prevention Council web site http://www.ncpc.org/cms/cms-upload/ncpc/files/lock.pdf. Here are a few suggestions from the NCPC:

· Install exterior lights near porches, rear and side doorways, garage and other points of entry.
· Place lights out of reach from the ground so the bulbs cannot be removed or broken.
· Aim some lights away from the house so you can see if anyone is approaching.
· Install motion-sensing lights that turn on automatically as someone approaches.
· Trim shrubbery that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows.
· Always keep doors and windows locked.
· Use quality keyed knobs as well as deadbolts--deadbolts can withstand the twisting, turning, prying and pounding that regular keyed knobs can't.
· When choosing a deadbolt, select one that extends at least 1 inch when in the locked position and is resistant to ramming and kicking. Also ensure hardened steel inserts are installed to prevent them from being sawed off and also has a reinforced strike plate with extra-long mounting screws to anchor the lock effectively.
· Sliding glass doors can offer easy entry into your home. Install keyed locking devices that secure the door to the frame. Put a piece of wood or metal bar in the track of a closed door to prevent the door from opening.
· Most standard double-hung windows have thumb-turn locks between the two panels. They are not very secure. Install keyed locking devices to prevent the windows from being raised from the outside. You can drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window, then insert a nail or eyebolt.