By Dennis Nelson
Unfortunately no neighborhood is completely immune to crime. We all want to make certain our family members, especially our children, are safe in our neighborhoods. You can take the following steps to help keep your family and your neighborhood safe:
- Know where your children are. Have them tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a time to check in with you or be home. If they do not have a cell phone, have them leave a phone number of where they will be.
- Help your children learn important phone numbers. Have them practice reciting their home phone telephone number and address, as well as your work and cell phone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing this information, write it down on a card and have them carry it at all times. Always let your children know where you will be and the best way to reach you.
- Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them to cross a busy road? Playing in abandoned houses, construction areas or shopping centers? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don't want your children to go to?
- Get to know your children's friends. Meet their parents before allowing your children to go to their home and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can't meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they will be supervised.
- Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor's house where your children can go if they need help. Point out other places they can go for help, like nearby stores, libraries and, if close by, police and fire stations.
- Teach your children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
- Work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood and get to know your neighbors and their children so everyone can look out for each other.
- And lastly, have your neighborhood join the Milton Police and Citizens Together (MPACT) program! Click the link below for more information.
Click here for information on becoming a part of the MPACT program.