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Strategy: Utility/Employee Watch

Strategy Businesses and government agencies that have two-way radio communications are organized to report dangerous or suspicious situations. Crime . . .

Strategy

Businesses and government agencies that have two-way radio communications are organized to report dangerous or suspicious situations.

Crime Problem Addressed

These programs address crimes that occur in public view; they can be a valuable resource in reporting safety hazards and emergencies such as accidents and fires.

Key Components

Businesses or organizations that have two-way radio communication capabilities with staff traveling through the community by vehicle are asked to report suspicious activities. Reporting requirements are established between the policing agency and the participating organizations. A training manual is prepared and used to teach employees how to recognize and report dangerous and suspicious situations. Police staff are oriented on the purpose and operation of the program.

Key Participants

Businesses or organizations that have two-way radio communication are key players in this strategy. Public utilities and local governments have provided significant support for this strategy in many localities. Reporting must be coordinated through the central dispatching office of the policing agency.

Potential Obstacles

Maintaining the interest of workers may be difficult. An incentives program can be developed to recognize them for their support. There may also be some indifference from police patrol personnel who might view some of the reports as unimportant or a waste of time.

Signs of Success

In Salem, Oregon, the workers of the Valley Garbage and Recycling Association made more than 400 reports that have helped to foil car thieves, help catch burglars, and save lives in accidents (National Crime Prevention Council, Foundations for Action, 1990).

Applying the Strategy

The Fleetwatch Program operated by the Springfield, Illinois, Police Department involves more than 100 companies. It includes public utilities, moving companies, tow trucks, cable companies, repair trucks, and sanitation trucks. They have helped apprehend criminals, find weapons, and locate lost children.

From 350 Tested Strategies to Prevent Crime: A Resource for Municipal Agencies and Community Groups

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