This is the latest in a series of articles that will regularly appear on KenoWi.com from Kenosha Police Department crime prevention unit officers Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis:
“It works!” was the most common answer given by Neighborhood Watch (NW) participants when asked why people of Kenosha should start an NW program in their neighborhoods.
“It’s also fun,” said Angie Howard, NW block captain. “When our group gets together, it’s like having a party. We have become such great friends. Not only have we learned how to keep ourselves safe, but I now have another group of friends.”
With the holidays fast approaching and 2012 soon coming to an end, we thought we would write a special safety article for the season.
Together with Officer Friendly, Dennis Walsh, we wrote this poem based on “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” We hope you enjoy it. Have a safe and happy holiday season.
T’was the Night of the Break-InT’was the night of the break-in, I again case your house. I had cased it for weeks, quiet like a mouse. There were no lights on, you had no alarm. You made it so easy for me to do harm. Continue reading
Scams take many forms, but offer the same result — you lose. If you are the potential victim of a scam, alerting the police is the one thing to prevent others from being preyed upon.
Imagine you were Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Dearborn, Michigan, returning home from the grocery store. As the couple began to enter their home, three men posing as water department employees approached and said they needed to check the water pressure in the house.
The Kenosha Police crime prevention officers, Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis, have published a new Christmas video. Click below to watch it:
This should get you into the Christmas spirit!
At tonight’s safety meeting which was held at the Boys & Girls Club, 1330 – 52nd Street, two alderpersons hosted. Chris Schwartz, alderperson for the 2nd district, and Patrick Juliana, alderperson for the 7th district, were the two organizers for the meeting. Police Chief John Morrissey was also in attendance, as well as Captain Edo Maccari, 2nd shift commander, Ron Francis, one of the crime prevention officers, and gang officer, Leo Viola. About twenty citizens were in attendance.
On Thursday, October 25th, Alderperson of the 2nd district, Chris Schwartz, will host a public safety meeting at the Boys & Girls Club, located at 1330 – 52nd Street, in Kenosha. It will start at 6:30 pm. The meeting will target Frank Elementary School and the Columbus Park area, but all are welcome.
The focus will be on neighborhood safety and non-owner-occupied properties. However, residents are encouraged to speak on any issue, concern, or idea.
The Kenosha Crime Prevention officers and a Kenosha Police Department representative will address issues and concerns.
Don’t take candy from strangers! Oh, except on Halloween, of course.
Are we confusing our children? Not if we take the time to communicate with them and explain why, one day every year, there is an exception to this safety rule.
Candy is but one area of concern to keep Halloween a safe and fun holiday for our children.
Tonight, Alderperson Scott Gordon (11th district) hosted a neighborhood town hall community meeting at the McKinley Grade School, 5520 – 32nd Avenue. Present were: Gordon, Senator Bob Wirch, County Board Supervisors Ron Frederick and Boyd Frederick, the city of Kenosha’s public works director Michael Lemens, deputy city attorney Matt Knight, Kenosha Police Captain Eric Larsen, Kenosha Police Sgt. Brent Sagedal, crime prevention officer Jeff Wamboldt, and gang prevention officer Aaron Dilhoff.
Gordon introduced those he invited to the group of about thirty citizens. “They’ll answer questions about anything. We will not leave here until every question is answered.” He informed the group that the city’s budget was released on Monday, as well as the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). He had copies available for review. “There’s a 2.2% levy included in the current budget proposal, which translates to a $30/home, 60 cents a week increase in taxes. This budget includes no cuts in police, fire, or emergency medical services. This is very important.” He also gave a construction update: they are going to start paving tomorrow.
Yogi Bear is an opportunist. Boo Boo is an accomplice.
That’s right; these lovable cartoon characters playfully steal picnic baskets left unattended by oblivious Jellystone Park campers. We think it is funny when they avoid detection and trick Park Ranger Smith.
However, change the scenario for a moment. Imagine Yogi and Boo Boo are people walking past your home, the picnic basket is your lawn mower or bicycle, and Jellystone Park is your garage. Not so funny, now is it?
Alderperson David Bogdala has announced a 17th district neighborhood meeting to be held on Thursday, September 20th, at 7pm. The meeting will take place at Nash Elementary School at 6801 – 99th Avenue, in Kenosha.
Discussion topics will include: a review of 2012, priorities for 2013, on-going projects, new Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) maps, and a Kenosha police update. Crime prevention officer Jeff Wamboldt will be in attendance.
Another crime prevention meeting was held at Pete’s Place, 4520 Eighth Avenue, tonight. This was initiated by the Union Park Neighborhood Watch Program. Fifty people were in attendance, and crime prevention officer Jeff Wamboldt was present, as well as two alderpersons. They were Eric Haugaard representing the first district, and Chris Schwartz representing the second district. Wamboldt said that he thought it was a great turnout.
Wamboldt passed out whistles, Neighborhood Watch (NW) packets containing identity theft brochures, NW window clings, a contact phone numbers sheet, and an old NW newsletter.
Wamboldt reiterated a lot of what was presented last night at the McKinley crime prevention meeting, such as the three components of Neighborhood Watch, the “crime triangle” or the “crime equation,” and the “broken window theory.” To read about this meeting, click here: McKinley Crime Prevention Meeting.
Almost 100 people were in attendance at tonight’s crime prevention meeting hosted by Alderperson Kevin Mathewson, representative for the 8th district. Alderpersons Steve Bostrom (12th district) and Jan Michalski (3rd district) co-sponsored the meeting. Residents of these three districts were encouraged to attend, but all Kenosha residents were invited. The meeting was organized to discuss public safety in the Uptown area, and it was held at the Lincoln Park Building, in Kenosha. Other alderpersons present at the meeting were David Bogdala, Rocco LaMacchia, and G. John Ruffolo.
Social networking is here to stay, so we had better learn how to harness and control its power.
In our previous article, we discussed the ways Facebook can be used to help fight crime, giving law enforcement a much-needed tool in locating and apprehending criminals. Click here to read the previous article: “Social Media Becoming an Increasingly Important Law Enforcement Tool.”
Scott Gordon, Alderperson of the 11th District, hosted a Neighborhood Watch walk around the McKinley neighborhood last night. The group met in the McKinley Elementary School playground on 33rd Avenue at 7:00 pm. The purpose of the gathering was to promote the formation of several neighborhood watch block groups. The residents of the area wanted to send a clear message that they will not tolerate criminal activity in their area. Their ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life and make the area a safer place to raise a family. Present were the two Kenosha Police Department crime prevention officers, Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis.
Gordon opened the meeting with the following words:
Facebook, love it or hate it, is a modern age law enforcement tool. It has become a large part of our everyday lives. We use it to connect with friends, meet people, network, and gather information about anything and everything. More than ever, police are “logging in” to catch criminals and solve crimes.
Facebook, and even Twitter, is about more than reconnecting with old friends. Detectives across the country are turning to social networking sites to piece together crimes and are asking citizens for help in locating suspects. Help make Kenosha a safer place by “liking” the Kenosha Police Department Facebook page.
“It’s a very useful tool,” says Kenosha Police Detective Matthew Hagen.
Would a “Peeping Tom” peep through a first floor window with a fully grown rosebush in front of it? Would a “purse-snatcher” snatch a purse in a common area occupied by numerous employees drinking their morning coffee? The likelihood of either scenario taking place is very small due to a concept known as CPTED, which stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The “Peeping Tom” would not approach the window with the rosebush because he subconsciously knows rosebushes contain long thorns that could cause him pain and the “purse-snatcher” would pick a less conspicuous location in order to go undetected.
The CPTED concept is a crime prevention philosophy based on the theory that proper design and effective use of the natural environment can lead to a reduction in crime while improving the quality of life. “Natural” not only refers to the crime prevention by-product that comes from normal and routine use of an environment (coffee location), but also the use of nature (rosebush) to help prevent crime. It reduces criminal opportunity and promotes positive social interaction among legitimate users of a specific area.
There are four basic overlapping principles in the CPTED concept:
As copper and other metals continue to rise in price, so does construction site theft. Metals are only one area of concern according to former new home builder, Rob Wikstrom of Anstrom Developers. “Wire, copper, and tools are favorite targets of thieves. I once had someone break into a house while it was under construction and steal the compressor right out of the basement.”
Construction site theft is literally a big business. Industry experts estimate annual losses at roughly $1 billion. Contractors, equipment dealers, insurance companies, home owners, and employees all suffer when job sites are vandalized or equipment and materials are stolen.
Landlords and property managers can help raise the quality of life in rental communities by attending a free Crime-Free Multi-Housing seminar facilitated by the Kenosha Police Department. Reservations are now being taken for the March 24, 2012, seminar. To reserve a space, call the Crime Prevention Unit at 657-3937, or email at [email protected].
From single family homes to multi-family buildings, the Crime-Free Multi-Housing initiative will help reduce crime and calls for service while creating a safer atmosphere for tenants and the surrounding neighborhood.
After consuming excessive amounts of rum, vodka, and beer at an underage drinking party, a 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl died, and the “social host” will spend up to 23 months in jail. The teenager’s blood alcohol content was 0.44, five times the legal driving limit for an adult motorist. The “social host” did not provide the alcohol; however, she was home when the incident occurred. “Adults have the responsibility to supervise and oversee to make sure minors aren’t consuming alcohol because it can have dire consequences, like it did in this case,” said Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.
According to the HOPE Council Underage Drinking Accountability Program Survey, Kenosha youth who currently consume alcohol were likely to have had their first drink between the ages of 13 and 17. “Town hall meetings, focus group interviews, and day-to-day conversations with teenagers tell us that our kids are acquiring alcohol predominantly in social settings, from older siblings, older friends, friends’ parents, and their own parents,” said Steve Fredriksson, Process Director for “Stand Tall Against Alcohol,” a project of the Concerned Citizens Coalition on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse for Greater Kenosha. “Statistics overwhelmingly show that today’s drunk driver was yesterday’s underage drinker.”
Imagine a city in which every citizen was empowered with the ability to play an active role in their neighborhood, working hand in hand with local authorities and government officials to improve the quality of life for all residents. In Kenosha, citizens have more than one way to make this a reality. To compliment Kenosha’s Neighborhood Watch program, citizens now have a new tool which allows the reporting of blight via the internet. The SeeClickFix site is a web tool that allows citizens to report non-emergency neighborhood issues such as graffiti, potholes, and non-working streetlights. This tool, accessible by many cell phones, is a form of community activism and centers around a web-based map that displays all user comments, including photographs and suggested resolutions.
Alderperson Steve Bostrom of the 12th District hosted the Uptown Support Group and interested neighbors at the Brass Community School last night. There were about 25 people present at the meeting. City representatives in attendance were: Ed Antaramian, city attorney, Jeff LaBahn, community development director, and two property maintenance inspectors, Martha Swartz, and John Dumke. Ron Francis, crime prevention officer, Bob Waldron, First Step Services, and Dennis Nelson, Uptown Business Organization, all spoke and answered questions at the meeting. Several handouts were available at the sign-in table.
Bostrom opened the meeting with a brief history of how he got involved with the uptown district. Francis stated that there are at least five neighborhood watch groups in the district, and he urged the citizens to consider creating additional groups.
“911, what’s your emergency?” is commonly the response when a citizen dials 911. The telecommunicator answering the call will immediately follow-up with several more questions designed to ensure the proper assistance is sent to where it is needed. These questions provide valuable safety information to the responding personnel and ultimately help to bring criminals to justice. A caller that remains calm and answers the questions will save time, potentially saving lives and property from harm.
“The 911 emergency system serves an important purpose in the preservation of life and property. “If a person is unsure an emergency call is necessary, they should err on the side of caution and call 911,” said Josh Nelson, joint services manager. “Do not call 911 for general inquiries or to report non-emergencies, as this could potentially delay the response for a real emergency.”
A Walking Miracle is what Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy, Tim Johnson, has been called.
He said he never saw the car coming that almost killed him. Surrounded by orange cones and flashing lights, Johnson was clearing an accident on I-94 near Miller Park when a car struck him. He was thrown 35 feet in the air and landed, head first, on a concrete barrier.
A salesperson representing an alarm company comes to your door and asks if you have an alarm system for your home. How will you answer that question if you have no alarm? If you answer “No” you have just told a stranger your home may be vulnerable to burglary.
You may not realize the need to know how to identify a door-to-door scam until you understand how easy it can be to fall for one. Con artists use specially developed techniques and well-known psychological effects to get you to act a certain way. People are taken advantage of every day. Some merely lose the money, while others deal with much more serious consequences, such as stolen identities.
Even if you are convinced a door-to-door sales scam could never happen to you, it may be beneficial to know what to look for. A con artist may:
- Be of any age or gender.
- Try to distract you with talk of a competition or contest before mentioning anything about the cost of the product.
- Appeal to your charitable nature. Be wary if a person at your door mentions they are working for a “good cause,” especially if it is one you have not heard before.
- Attempt to gain entry to your home. Train yourself not to let strangers inside.
- Attempt to befriend you. Expect conversation about your likes, interests, and hobbies.
- Not wait around for you to say “yes.” Instead, the paperwork will be completed long before you have even made up your mind.
- Attempt to get you involved in the scam. In this way, you are less likely to report it when you do eventually get taken advantage of.
Some door-to-door salespeople are selling legitimate products and services; however, many are attempting to deceive. An important concept to remember is the salesperson is a stranger. In the event the deal takes a wrong turn, will you be able to locate the person?
If you are considering making a purchase from a salesperson at your door, do not act in haste, request references and the company’s physical address for validation. Wisconsin law requires door-to-door salespeople to disclose their name, the organization they are representing, the products or services they are offering, and the purpose of their visit.
The City of Kenosha requires all door-to-door salespeople to have a peddler’s license. The license must be worn while the person is engaged in selling. Peddlers are also limited to the selling hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless a prearranged appointment has been set up.
Wisconsin law gives consumers three days to cancel a door-to-door sales transaction of $25 or more. A salesperson must tell you about your cancellation rights at the time of the sale and provide you with two copies of a cancellation form. One copy is for your records, the other is to send to the seller should you choose to cancel the purchase.
“The three day right to cancel law gives consumers time to reconsider their actions, but refusing to deal with salespeople who are not following the law is still the best way to avoid becoming a victim,” said Janet Jenkins, Administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection.
A door-to-door sales person who does not have a license or does not follow the law is suspicious and should be reported to the police. Making this report, including suspect and vehicle descriptions, may greatly reduce the likelihood of future victims.
To file a consumer complaint regarding questionable door-to-door sales, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection on the web at www.datcp.state.wi.us; via e-mail at [email protected]; or call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-422-7128.