Neighborhood Watch

You may have noticed an uptick in crime in our area. There are many reasons for this that are beyond discussion in a cluster newsletter: For example, most police agencies currently suffer from challenging morale; there is difficulty recruiting and retaining officers nationwide, leading to a shortage of personnel; and those who do serve are concerned they will find themselves in an engagement that might go bad, requiring them to make a split-second decision that could either cost them their lives or lead to their arrest, causing them to lose their freedom, their livelihood, or at least their good name. 

A suggestion that might address both concerns expressed above is to encourage greater police visibility in our immediate vicinity, especially around South Lakes Village (thus deterring potential criminals from frequenting our neighborhood), and one way to do this might be as simple as thanking police officers for their service the next time you see them. You can even consider offering to buy them a cup of coffee or a meal. 

Finally, a specific crime issue that should be of concern to all of us is the 50% increase in murders in Fairfax County so far this year. Although most murders are not random but instead domestic or drug-related (statistically speaking, the vast majority of murders occur between family members and acquaintances), you still might want to call your local supervisor, delegate, and state senator and ask them what solutions they are thinking about to address this troubling situation.

On another note, if you are considering traveling, here are some tips to keep your house safe:

  1. Tell your neighbors that you will be out of town.
  2. Do not broadcast your plans online.
  3. Have some of the lights on timers so your home appears occupied.
  4. Have a security sign in your yard.
  5. Install a video camera system.
  6. Suspend your newspaper deliveries or ask a neighbor to collect the papers.
  7. Do not let delivered packages sit by your front door or in your driveway. Ask your neighbors to store them.

Take care and stay safe.

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