Crime Prevention and Safety
Crime Prevention Programs, Campaigns and Tips
Basic Crime Prevention Tips
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes
- Lock your car and secure your valuables
- Park in well lighted areas while shopping
Guest Speaker Availability
Members of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team are available to speak at your business, civic organization, or school on law enforcement topics ranging from crime prevention to child safety and awareness. For more information contact the Neighborhood Enforcement Team at (979) 209-5539
- Project Identification
- Crime Free Multi Housing
- Home Security Inspections
- National Night Out
- Child Cell Phone and Internet Safety
- General Child Safety Tips
- Home Safety Tips
- Shopping Safety Tips
- Preventing Identity Theft
- Auto Burglary Prevention
- Other Law Enforcement Resources
If you are a victim of burglary or theft the chance of recovering your property is not very likely without a serial number. Serial numbers and or owner applied numbers greatly enhance your chances of getting your property back. Project Identification should help you identify your property should it be stolen and allow the police department to return your property. Well marked property is less desirable to a thief. Easily identifiable property increases the likelihood of a thief’s apprehension and prosecution. Property should be engraved with your driver license number in order to make identification of property easier. In cases where engraving would not be suitable or possible, items such as jewelry, firearms or antiques these items should be photographed and a detailed description attached to your inventory sheet.
For more information contact the Neighborhood Enforcement Team at (979) 209-5539.
Crime Free Multi Housing
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is a state-of-the-art crime prevention program designed to reduce crime, drugs, and gangs on apartment communities. This program was successfully developed at the Mesa Arizona Police Department in 1992. The CFMH Programs requires participating apartment communities to go above and beyond in crime prevention measures. The program consists of three phases that must be completed under the supervision of the Bryan Police Department. Property managers can become individually certified after completing training in each phase and the property becomes certified upon successful completion of all three phases. The anticipated benefits are reduced police calls for service, a more stable resident base, and reduced exposure to civil liability.
For information on the CFMH Program or to become a part of the program please contact the Neighborhood Enforcement Team at (979) 209-5539.
Home Security Inspection
The Bryan Police Department offers Home Security Inspections as a measure of crime prevention. Upon completion of your inspection you may be eligible for an insurance premium reduction of up to 20%. To schedule a Home Inspection contact the Neighborhood Enforcement Team at (979) 209-5539.
Texas Insurance Code
Reduction in Homeowners Insurance Premiums
Chapter 5, Article 5.33A, Section 6 (a) (1) and (2)
- Exterior doors are solid core doors that are 1 3/8 inches thick and are secured by dead-bolt locks. Dead-bolt locks must lock with a minimum bolt lock throw of one inch that penetrates a metal strike plate. If the door secured by a dead-bolt lock has breakable glass within 40 inches of the lock, the lock must be key-operated from both sides unless prohibited by life safety codes.
- Metal doors are secured by dead-bolt locks as described above.
- Double doors meet the specifications for exterior doors as listed above, have the inactive door secured by header and threshold bolts that penetrate metal strike plates, and in case of glass located within 40 inches of the header and threshold bolts , have the bolts mounted flush in the edge of the door.
- Sliding glass doors are secured by secondary locking devices to prevent lifting and prying.
- Dutch doors have concealed flush-bolt locking devices to interlock upper and lower halves and are secure by a dead-bolt lock as described above.
- Garage doors are equipped with key operated locking devices.
- Windows are secured by auxiliary locking devices. An auxiliary locking device required by this section must include screws, wooden dowels, pinning devices, and key-operated locks. In areas in which life safety codes permit, metal bars or grating, if mounted to prevent easy removal, may be substituted for auxiliary locking devices. Jalousie or louvered windows do not meet the specifications of this section unless they have metal grating mounted as provided for above.
- Property is equipped with an electrical burglar alarm that meets the following requirements: All exterior structure openings are contacted; the system includes an interior and exterior siren, all equipment is U.L. approved and is monitored by a U.L. approved central station; and sales, services, installation, and monitoring of the system are done in compliance with the Private Investigations and Private Security Agencies Ad (Article 4413 (29bb), Vernon’s Civil Statutes)
An awareness program designed to put criminals on notice through a series of alerts and reminders. For more information or to restock supplies contact the Neighborhood Enforcement Team at (979) 209-5539.
Open and Empty
A static window cling was designed to be displayed in businesses with cash registers. The cling alerts potential criminals “No Cash in Register Overnight” with the BPD badge and “We participate in Open and Empty: A Crime Prevention Partnership with the Bryan Police Department. Crime Prevention Information (979) 209-5539”
Secure at the Pumps
These highly visible stickers will be placed on gas pumps throughout the City of Bryan to remind patrons, “While Pumping Gas, Lock Your Car and Secure Your Valuables: A Crime Prevention Partnership with the Bryan Police Department. Crime Prevention Information (979) 209-5539.”
Crime Prevention Table Tents
Table Tents are educational displays used to inform citizens of crime trends while they are waiting in local businesses. Each two sided table tent will displays two separate crime prevention topics with crime prevention recommendations. Topics will include; personal safety, vehicle theft, vehicle burglary, identity theft, and travel safety.
Criminal Trespass Warning Program
The Criminal Trespass Warning program encourages property owners or managers of private property to enter into a partnership with the Bryan Police Department and employ a criminal trespass affidavit for their property. The affidavit authorizes members of the Bryan Police Department to enforce the trespass statutes on their property. Signs which state, “All City of Bryan Police Officers are authorized representatives to advise any person to leave these premises, including parking lots. Failure to vacate the premises after being so instructed may result in an arrest for trespass after warning.” are provided to program participants for posting on their premises.
Area businesses, malls, and hotels are encouraged to post signs in an effort to educate patrons on auto burglary prevention techniques. The Bryan Police Department will issue signs that display the message, “Lock Your Car and Secure Your Valuables, Thank You for Your Partnership! Bryan Police Department.”
Peddlers & Solicitors
No person shall sell or offer for sale any item upon any premises if requested by anyone not to do so, or if there is placed at or near the entrance thereof a sign bearing the words “No Peddlers or Vendors,” “No Trespassing,” or “No Solicitation.” Please know if you disregard these notices you can be subject to citations, fines by the the city, and/or arrest.
Child Internet Safety
It is that time of year where kids begin to give their parents subtle hints about what they want for Christmas. Among the most popular items are the newest cell phones, computers or gaming systems. Although those items are really cool, they can also be dangerous. Become familiar with what you are buying. Do your research! Here are some helpful tips from the Bryan Police Department to keep your kids safe.
Cell Phones/Mobile Devices
Cell Phones are a great way for families to stay connected. Now cell phones come with cameras, social networking applications, internet access and GPS technology. Buy a phone that suits you and your child’s needs. Create a “contract” so your child fully understands how and when they can use their cell phone. You should also discuss punishment for a breach of contract ahead of time. Then post that contract in visible place like on the refrigerator in the kitchen. Here are some more issues to discuss:
- Cell phone cameras: A camera is a very cool gadget to have on a cell phone but when used irresponsibly it can get a kid into trouble quick. Opt out of a cell phone camera until you feel your child is responsible enough not to send inappropriate pictures to their friends. You can also get with your cell phone carrier to block images from being sent or received. Warn them that once they send a picture to someone else, it can’t be taken back. If the picture makes its way to the internet, it will be there forever.
- Texting/multimedia messages: Talk to your cell phone provider and see what options are available for parents to control who your child can talk to or who can talk to your child. That also goes for what kind of messages can be sent or received. Do random checks of your child’s phone to see what they are saying and who they are saying it to.
- Minutes and use: Set a limit on how and when the phone can be used. A good idea is to charge the phone in the parent’s bedroom at night. That way the temptation to use the phone at 2am is not possible.
- Internet access: Check and see if the phone has internet access. There may be limits you can place on the phone by your cell phone provider.
Remember, the point of the phone is to have contact between the parent and child. It is not intended to be an unmonitored toy or a social networking tool.
Computers and tablets are a popular gift idea. You can find some great internet safety tips at www.netsmartz.org. The site is parent and kid friendly. Here are some computer issues to think about:
- The main concern of computer use is internet access. Set time limits when internet service is available. Set passwords on the wi-fi internet access so you child can’t override any parameters you set.
- Keep the computer in a common area such as the kitchen and living room. Perhaps set the computer up so the screen is visible to everyone. Take notice if your child minimizes or closes the screen as you walk into the room. That’s a sign that they could be doing something they shouldn’t!
- Contact a store that is familiar with computer safety software that you can install on your computer to track what sites your kid is visiting. You can also set limits on what sites you kids can access.
- Some gaming systems come with chatting capability. Check with the retailer to see if the system you are purchasing has that feature.
- Be responsible with what you access over the internet. If your child discovers you are looking at something they should not be, it may give them the message that it is okay for them to view it.
The most important tip is to talk to your child about being safe. Give them scenarios and ask what they would do if someone tried to send them something inappropriate or tries to contact them in person. Get involved in your child’s social networking tools (Facebook, twitter, emails, texts, etc) because if you don’t no one else will. Leaving a child unmonitored on social networking sites that are connected to the World Wide Web can leave them vulnerable to inappropriate media or contact.
General Child Safety Tips
An important tool for teaching children personal security is reinforcing their trust in the adults who care for them, e.g., parents, police and teachers. To further lessen the chances of children becoming victims, the following objectives should be stressed:
Reassurance: Inform your children they can be safer if they form good habits and follow some simple rules. One good rule for children to remember is: never go anywhere with anyone without their parents’ permission;
Openness: Encourage your children to confide in you, even if the subject feels uncomfortable;
Strangers: Teach your children the difference between good strangers and bad strangers. Good strangers are police officers, teachers and firefighters. Children should seek assistance from them if they are in trouble. Children should avoid other strangers; and
Secrets: Discourage your children from keeping bad secrets. A bad secret is when an adult tells a child to keep information from the child’s parents or guardian. An example would be an adult offering a child candy to get into his or her car and then telling the child not to tell anyone. Another example would be if an adult tries to touch the private body parts of a child and then tells the child not to tell anyone. Private body parts are parts of the body covered by a bathing suit. Child molesters have also been known to approach children and fake a family emergency. A good example would be a child molester who drives to a school bus stop and tells a child, “Your dad is hurt and your mom wants you to come with me to the hospital.” The chances are high that a child placed in this circumstance might be tempted to get into the car. That is why parents should select a family code word that they and their children know. If a stranger does not know the code word, the children will know not to trust him or her. A good secret is keeping a family code word confidential.
Children Should Know:
- The definition of an emergency and when to contact police, fire or paramedics;
- Their full name, address, and telephone number, including area code;
- Their parents’ full name and work telephone number;
- How and when to use 9-1-1 and how to use a public telephone;
- How to use the telephone to call home;
- That they should check in with you or a trusted neighbor when he or she gets home from school so you always know where they are;
- Where to go for safety if you are not around;
- The location of Safe Houses in their neighborhood and the ability to recognize the Safe House Placards;
- Always keep doors locked, even during the day;
- Anyone they don’t know is a stranger;
- Stay away from cars occupied by strangers;
- Never open doors for strangers;
- Never tell anyone who comes to the door (or anyone who calls on the telephone) that they are alone;
- When answering the telephone, never give information to strange callers;
- It’s OK to say NO to an adult if the adult makes them feel uncomfortable or wants them to do something they feel is bad;
- Never let anyone touch them where their underwear or swimsuit should cover;
- It’s OK to run away and scream “HELP” if someone tries to make them do something they don’t want to do;
- It’s OK to tell if someone offers them gifts or money, or wants to photograph them;
- How to describe a person’s appearance, clothing and their car if they are ever approached by a stranger;
- Run to other people and to lighted areas if they are being followed;
- Stay near parents while in a store or other public place;
- Never go out to a parking lot if they get separated from parents in a shopping center or mall;
- Go to the nearest check out counter and ask a cashier or clerk for assistance if they get lost in a store;
- What to do if they should become lost in a crowd;
- Stay in one place if they get lost;
- Never go into a public restroom alone; and
- Never play in abandoned buildings.
Rules For Parents:
- Encourage your children to communicate with you. If someone is causing them to be anxious, fearful, or concerned for their safety, but has not attempted overt acts, parents need to know about it;
- Never leave your children unattended;
- Know where your children are at all times;
- Know your children’s friends, where they live and their telephone numbers;
- Know the location of Safe Houses in your area.
- Listen to your children when they tell you they don’t want to be with someone and ask why;
- Have your children’s school or day care center personnel call immediately if your children are absent;
- Use extreme caution when selecting a babysitter, preschool or day care center. Check their references and have face-to-face meetings with the babysitter, preschool and day care center personnel who will be looking after your children; and
- Get to know your neighbors, especially in a new neighborhood.
Parents Should Know:
Marked Clothing: It is recommended that children not wear clothing with their name prominently displayed. Children may respond to a stranger who calls them by name. If you must mark your child’s clothing, don’t put the name in an obvious place. Instead, mark the inner lining of a hat or jacket.
Family Safety Plan: Should an emergency occur and someone is designated to pick up your children, make sure you’ve discussed a code word with your children in advance. The code word acts as a signal to your children that you have sent an authorized person to act on your behalf. Parents should stress the importance of keeping the code word a secret.
Who to Call: In the event your child is missing, spread the word by calling the police, hospitals, schools, neighbors and especially your child’s friends. Contact every possible source of help.
Safety Identification: Keep an up-to-date identification file of your children. This file should include:
- A recent photograph;
- A physical description that includes height, weight, hair color, eye color, distinguishing marks and birth date;
- A set of fingerprints or thumbprints; and
- A mental note of what your children were wearing when you last saw them.
We have attempted to establish a “crime prevention attitude” for parents and children. The importance of practicing a “crime prevention attitude” cannot be stressed enough! Play crime prevention roles with your children and teach them how to respond. If properly prepared, your children will automatically take the correct crime prevention action in a dangerous situation. It is important to practice with your children and to encourage a “crime prevention attitude” in their daily lives.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
- When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
- Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
- Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
- When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
- Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
- Never leave packages, bags, cell phones, purses or other valuable items inside of your car where they can be seen from the outside.
- Never fight over parking spaces. It is not worth pushing the wrong person to become violent. Your car could also be vandalized as a result.
- Always park in a well-lighted area and with other people around if possible. Look for landmarks and remember where you parked so you don’t roam the parking lot looking for your car after shopping.
- When shopping, always try to walk with someone else. Robbers seldom confront multiple victims.
- Carry your purse on the opposite side of traffic when walking through a parking lot.
- Plan to obtain cash during the day and avoid using an ATM at night.
- Stay alert and be aware of the people around you.
- As you approach your car, have your keys in your hand so you can enter your vehicle and close and lock the door quickly behind you.
- When loading packages or children into your car, keep an eye on purses, other bags and packages. Put your purse in the car first, and then unload your bags.
- Never buy items such as computers, jewelry, stereos or anything from a “guy in the parking lot.” These items are often stolen, sub- standard or fake.
- Keep your purse zipped or buttoned up. Make sure that your wallet pocket is closed.
- Don’t hang your purse on a fitting room hook. Place it on the bench where you can see it.
- Never store a purse in the child’s seat of a shopping cart. Place it in the cart and keep it closed to protect your wallet.
- If you observe anyone you believe is following you home, drive to a public, well-lighted area such as the police department.
- Program our non-emergency phone number (979-361-3888) into your cell phone, and never hesitate to call your Police Department to report suspicious activity.
Protect yourself from Identity theft
Phishing Prowlers. Dumpster Divers. Shoulder Surfers. No, these aren’t the names of some popular singing groups that your kids are listening to, but rather some popular forms of identity theft. As the fastest growing crime in America with nearly 10 million reported cases a year, the average victim spends 28 hours and $5,686 to resolve their case, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. The thefts range from opportunistic one-time events to large organized crime rings racking up millions of dollars in fraudulent charges each year.
What exactly is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and then uses that information to take over your credit accounts, open new ones, access bank accounts, take out a loan, rent an apartment, or commit many other crimes using your identity. Because it frequently involves no physical theft, identity theft may not be noticed by its victims for several months or longer, until significant damage has been done.
Why you need to be extra careful?
There are a number of ways thieves can get a hold of someone’s personal information, so be aware. For example, they can go through your mail or trash, get a hold of your pay stub, open a bank account in your name, watch as you type in your personal identification number (PIN) at an ATM, acquire personal information that you share on unsecured sites on the Internet, lure you into a “phishing” scam or even complete a change-of-address form to redirect your mail. These are just a few of the ways an identity thief operates. It’s important to understand that credit card fraud is just one type of identity theft.
Not all identity thieves are strangers
Many people worry about online hackers stealing their passwords or Dumpster divers digging through their trash, as they should. But surprisingly, a lot of identity theft is committed by an acquaintance of the victim. Many times, friends, relatives, neighbors or in-home employees are involved. Think about it. They know your patterns and they have access to your financial information. What’s more, they know your mother’s maiden name, where you live, work and do your banking. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your personal information.
Identity theft is so rampant today that you need to take steps to secure your financial information, regardless of whom a potential thief might be.
How you can protect yourself
By managing your personal information carefully and sensibly, you can help prevent yourself from becoming an identity theft victim. Here are five simple precautions:
1. Protect Your Social Security Number
Do not keep it on you, but rather keep it locked in a safe, secure place. Never have your Social Security Number printed on your checks. And most importantly, only give out your Social Security Number when it’s absolutely necessary.
2. Closely Monitor Your Financial Statements
You should know when your bank statements, stock broker statements, credit card statements and other important financial information arrives in the mail. A missing statement could indicate a thief is at work. So follow your bank statement and billing cycles closely.
Review your statements thoroughly for any unauthorized transactions or suspicious activity, especially bank statements and credit card bills. If there are any discrepancies, contact your financial institution or credit card company at once.
3. Shred Your Mail and Personal Documents
If you’re serious about protecting yourself from identity thieves, you should seriously consider investing in a paper shredder. There are a number of inexpensive, quality shredders available nowadays. Be sure to shred any credit card offers, pay stubs, credit card statements, returned checks, bank statements and any other sensitive information that you are not required to keep. It will force any “Dumpster Divers” to look elsewhere.
4. Become More “Street Smart”
Only give out personal information over the phone if you initiated the call. Be aware of any “shoulder surfers” who may be watching you at an ATM or grocery store check-out. In fact, today’s surfers operate across the street, using binoculars and telephoto lenses to capture your information. Also, do not carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport unless it’s absolutely necessary.
5. Closely Monitor Your Credit Report
Monitoring your credit report on a regular basis is one of the best ways to detect identity theft – and ensure the accuracy of what’s being reported about you. Additionally, you might want to consider subscribing to a credit report monitoring service, which automatically monitors your credit information and notifies you by e-mail of any key changes to your credit report. Credit monitoring is an excellent “early-warning system” against identity theft.
National Night Out
October 6, 2020
How to set up a block party:
- Solicit help to set up a block party from a friend or neighbor
- If you want to block a street off make sure to get the proper permits from the city.
- Invite all your neighbors and solicit their help.
- Decide what kind of food you would like. Snacks, Pot Luck, someone grilling, or catered.
- Decide if you want music. Radio, DJ, etc. (make sure not to violate the noise ordinance)
- Register your National Night Out block party online, so the police department can come visit with you and bring you a goodie bag.
- Download the National Night Out block party registration form in PDF format.
- If you have questions or need help call the NET team at (979)209-5539.
No matter how simple or how elaborate you plan your party to be, the main goal is to get the neighborhood together. When you know your neighbors you will look after them and they will look after you.
Stay Safe During National Night Out 2020
The Bryan Police Department is participating in National Night Out this year. With the current pandemic, National Night Out will have to be done a little differently. If you plan on hosting a National Night Out party, the Bryan Police Department has guidelines in place to insure a safe event.
Auto Burglary Prevention
The reason auto burglaries are prolific is because people often leave valuables out in the open. Thieves can quickly enter vehicles, often unseen. Increasingly, criminals are using personal information found in vehicles to commit identity theft.
What criminals are looking for:
- Lack of detection – Criminals look for opportunities to take items without being seen.
- Easy targets – Criminals are looking for the opportunity and when you leave doors unlocked or windows open you have given them opportunity to commit the crime.
- Valuable items –Criminals look for items they can quickly turn into cash.
What you can do:
- Remove Valuables –Leave valuables at home if possible. Otherwise, take valuables with you when you exit the vehicle.
- Close your windows – Even a slightly open window makes it easier for a criminal to get into your vehicle and an open window will allow a criminal a quick & quiet entrance.
- Lock your vehicle and set alarms – Make it a point to reach out to your door handle and make sure the door is locked. Check to ensure alarm is set.
- Park in well lit areas – Dark areas provide concealment for criminals.
Items valuable to criminals:
Portable GPS Devices, PDA’s, Cameras, Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, CD’s, MP3 Players, Pull-out Stereo Systems, Mail, Address Books, Receipts, Purses, Vehicle Registration, Money, Jackets, Gym Bags, Book Bags, Luggage, Garage Door Openers, Briefcases. Items containing personal information could be used to steal your identity (Social Security numbers, ID cards, Passports).
Other Law Enforcement Resources
Local Law Enforcement Agencies
- College Station Police Department
- Brazos County Sheriff’s Office
- Texas A&M University Police Department
- Texas Department of Public Safety
Area Non-Profit Agencies
| (979) 823-7008
Other Useful Links
- Brazos County Jail Search Look up a current/ previously incarcerated inmate of the Brazos County Jail
- Laws in the State of Texas
- DPS Sex Offender Database Information about Registered Sex Offenders living in Texas
- Brazos County 911 District
- Neighborhood Enforcement Team – The NET
- Registered Sex Offenders – https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/dps_web/Portal/index.aspx
- Brazos County Jail Search – http://justiceweb.co.brazos.tx.us/judicialsearch/
- National Night Out – http://www.nationalnightout.org/nno/