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Crime prevention and you

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- How many times have you heard someone say on television or in real life that they "don't want to get involved", "something is none of their business" or they "want to be left out of it?"

When it comes to crime prevention that is an attitude we must not allow. As the crime prevention manager for the base, it is my job to look at things and try to determine if or how Whiteman can be better protected. The one thing crime prevention always leads back to is You.

Here on Whiteman, we are our own little community. We have a gas station, grocery store, ball fields and housing - the same as any small town in the United States.

Although we have a very important Air Force mission to accomplish, that is only part of our daily lives. Our other mission is to look out for our community and each other.

Too many people are caught up in the belief that because they are on base it is automatically more secure because of the fence and guards.

While it is true there is a measure of security provided by the fence and guards, they are not the only answer.

You and how you are involved with your community, is the primary answer. It is simple really to implement crime prevention; just start by getting to know your neighbors and the children in your community.

Don't be limited by your routine. Be aware of your surroundings for your sake and that of your neighbors. You will be amazed to find out what the local children know if you spend just ten minutes tossing a ball or talking with them.

Talking to your neighbors and getting to know them - not just the obligatory wave as you walk in the house, does wonders for building a sense of community.

People looking out for each other and their community are the best crime prevention available. Know when your neighbors are on vacation or otherwise out of the area.

Know the routine of your housing area - when trash is picked up, when the mail is delivered and when someone is moving in, or out, of your neighborhood.

You don't have to be noisy, or know someone's deep dark secrets or even be best friends to look out for them - just care about your community.

Test yourself to find out if you are looking out for your community by asking yourself a few questions: 

- Do I avoid my neighbors?
- How many neighbors do I know by name that live on my block?
- Can I name the children on my block? (Not just the ones that may have caused trouble.)

It is in our nature to know the bad things that go on around us, but we need to be aware of the good things that happen every day - a neighbor having a new baby, children graduating or someone receiving an award at work or school.

By learning information like this, you are being more involved with the people in your community. It may not seem like much, but think of it this way: A child or even an adult in trouble is more likely to go to someone they know for help before they would go to a stranger.

If it was your child or family member needing help, wouldn't you want them to have people to turn to?

For more information on crime prevention, call Jerry Osban at 687-4482.

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