Glenwood police issuing crime prevention tips
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A ticket on your vehicle isn’t always bad news. If your car’s parked in Glenwood Springs, that ticket just might be a tip.
Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said for the past four or five months, officers have been distributing what are called Crime Prevention Tips.
The fliers, which at first glance look like parking tickets, are hooked on the driver’s door handle or wedged in the door jam of unlocked vehicles when officers come across potential opportunities for criminal activity, such as keys left in the ignition, or valuables left in clear view.
“Nine and a half times out of 10, when a vehicle is stolen, it’s been left unlocked with the keys inside,” Wilson says. “What we’re trying to do is prevent a crime. We don’t need to make it easy for a theft to occur.”
At the top of the flier, the words, “This is not a ticket,” are printed in bold, block lettering, followed by a form filled out by the officer on duty stating why the tip was left.
In addition to alerting vehicle owners, officers are leaving the tip cards hanging on front door knobs of residences if, for instance, garage doors are left open with expensive personal property visible, or the police see open doors and windows when homes appear unoccupied.
Wilson says he got the idea for a tip flier from his son. Jeremy Wilson, who’s a police officer in Greenwood Village near Denver, showed his father a crime prevention tip flier that the Greenwood Village Police Department is distributing. The flier is aimed at preventing thefts that could be easily avoided by people being more aware and proactive about protecting their property.
Wilson admits Glenwood Springs isn’t southwest Denver, but crimes do occur here.
“We’re just small enough to be a trusting community, and big enough that we’re definitely not Mayberry,” he said, referring to the sleepy, safe community made famous by the 1960’s television program, “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Although there are neighborhoods in Glenwood Springs that have a higher incidence of crime than other areas – the downtown area, for example, with its high density and more transient population naturally sees more criminal activity than other residential areas – the entire city is patrolled and covered by the program.
Wilson said the department has received positive feedback from people receiving the fliers.
“We’ve had notes from people,” Wilson said, “or they call in to say, ‘Thanks for reminding me. That tip woke me up.'”
Wilson said there’s a balance between making people paranoid and providing information about self-protection.
“We look at it as a little gentle education,” he said.
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