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Taking a Bite Out of Crime

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By Lissa Scott

In mid-July, a Riverdale Park resident was sitting in her kitchen and noticed two young men: one parked at the curb and another on the back porch of her neighbor's home. She saw her neighbor leave home earlier that morning and wasn't aware of any work being done at her home. She did not recognize either person, but she knew something was terribly wrong when the man on the porch started opening the neighbor's rear window. Without a moment's hesitation, this resident did the right thing--she called the Riverdale Park Police. They responded immediately and caught one man coming out of the house with the neighbors valuables, and the other sitting in the getaway car. Thanks to the diligence of this resident and our police, both men were arrested on the spot.

Our Riverdale Park Police work hard to ensure that we all stay safe, but they need the support of every citizen to prevent break-ins. This includes protecting yourself and your property by keeping all windows and doors closed and locked; securely chaining ladders away from your residence; and ensuring that exterior locks are in good working condition. Some security companies and locksmiths even offer free security assessments to potential customers.

Most importantly, if you have a security alarm system, activate it even if you're only dashing out for a moment. It only took a few seconds for the young man to enter the neighbor's home. It's also prudent to keep the alarm activated even when you are in your home. Think about it: It was lucky this neighbor was not at home when the young man gained entry.

The bottom line is, although there is no place free from crime, we must work together neighbor-to-neighbor to watch out for each other. Had it not been for the resident's immediate action, her neighbor would have lost personal--and possibly irreplaceable--items. It's easy to feel that it's not our business to intervene, but crime in Riverdale Park affects the very fabric of our community, from our property values to our personal safety. We must truly be, "Our brother's keeper."

Lissa Scott is the Councilmember for Ward 6.

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