http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/04/24/keep-a-watch


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Perspective - April 24, 2009

Keep a watch

Budget cuts are sad when they hit social services. They are inconvenient as they eliminate positions of those who serve us in county offices. When cuts are made at the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department, they can be downright scary. Now is the time more than ever to use common sense to live safely and protect ourselves and our possessions.

In one move for efficiency, residents are asked to report many petty crimes online. The system was implemented recently with budget cuts in mind since many statements to the police are routine, and thefts are often reported mainly for insurance purposes. Deputies still will be available when needed, officials assure us.

And it is time for residents to take seriously the advice of the Danville Police Department, which has been urging people for years to lock the doors on their homes and their vehicles, and not to leave valuables out in plain sight. Somehow people aren't getting this message because property thefts continue to happen in this area and the reports show that, yes, the car doors were left unlocked and the purse was in plain view.

Now residents must become allies with the police to keep their neighborhoods safe by being alert and knowing when to report suspicious activity. Get to know your neighbors; learn to observe what is going on around you and recognize any activity that is out of the ordinary. Consider forming a Neighborhood Watch group to raise community awareness on your street and help prevent crime. Contact Community Service Officer Shawn Desmond for more information, at 314-3705.

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