Tips from the Marietta Police Department
As we embark on a new year, the Marietta Police Department (MPD) continues to strive to make our community as safe as we can possibly be. While our crime rates are at a historic low and the City remains deeply committed to providing the finest in all manners of police staffing, training, technology and equipment, the fact remains that public safety and security require a team effort of both the police and the members of the community we serve.
As much as we strive as a community to be safe, like everywhere else, modern times still present a variety of risks to public safety and we need to be smart about the way we prevent crime and guard against all manners of potential theft or harm. Following is a list of general tips for Marietta citizens to stay safe in 2018:
Home security; The simple principle of home security is known to Police as “target hardening.” Simply put, the more obstacles you put in a criminal’s way such as dead bolt locks, outside lights, alarms, and cameras, etc. the less likely your home will be targeted for crime. The MPD Community Response Unit will provide free home security surveys to citizens upon request. Also, if you keep guns in your home consider attending an MPD Gun Safety Seminar (listed on our department web site) http://www.mariettaga.gov/150/Police .
Vehicle security; Vehicle break-ins remain prolific throughout Metro-Atlanta. Remember to always Lock Your Car, Take Your Keys, Remove Your Valuables and Hide What You Can’t Remove. Also, do not leave remote door or gate openers in your vehicle. A suspect willing to break into your car would now have access to the inside of your residence.
Internet security; Thieves and predators on the internet do not respect geographical boundaries, they target everyone. Use strong passwords for everything, consider employing identity protection services to prevent identity theft, do not fall for unsolicited sales contacts or potential scams for services. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Social media parental responsibility; Responsible parents need to involve themselves with the internet usage of their children and young adults. Child sexual predators are prolific on social media sites and it is not uncommon for children to unwittingly become involved in internet pornography. The MPD Cyber Unit provides free classes to teach parents how to safely monitor social media usage. Also, if you suspect illegal activity, contact the MPD Internet Crimes Against Children Team immediately.
Driving safety – By far the largest cause of accidents, and complaints of bad driving has become distracted driving of all kinds. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, and reading while driving are the most common causes of accidents. No one is immune from the dangers and it is difficult for the police to control them. Also, pleasant as they may be, you really do not want individual instruction from members of the MPD Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Please drive safely.
Crowd safety – In recent years there have been several shooting attacks against American citizens in crowds in all sorts of venues across the country. Although the chances of getting caught in one remain very slim, we all need to prepare ourselves to remain safe. If you are in a crowd anywhere; make yourself aware of multiple ways to exit or flee, consider places you may hide if you can’t escape, and if you can’t escape or hide, consider the availability of everyday items you may use as weapons to fight back if necessary. Also, plan to attend a very informative free seminar entitled Civilian Response To Active Shooter Event (CRASE) offered by the MPD Training Unit. (Note: watch for a new seminar designed to teach crowd protection at outdoor events. The new seminars will be first offered in 2018.)
School Safety - The Marietta Police Department partners with the Marietta City School System to provide several safety and security programs for students. Some of the programs include: School Resource Officers, RadKids (prevents bullying), Public Safety Ambassadors, and Career Pathways Program, etc. Parents and guardians should familiarize themselves with available school safety and security programs. They are there to help students be safe.
Drug Safety – The opioid epidemic looms large in America and Marietta works to fight it at the local level. The MPD conducts a continuous excess drug disposal program: bring excess, expired or unneeded prescription drugs to police headquarters for safe legal disposal any time. In addition, the MPD will soon be distributing a pamphlet designed by local pastors and police to list indicators that someone near you may be developing an opioid addiction as well as available intervention resources for those needing help. Finally, the MPD supports and coordinates with Cobb County accountability courts (drug, veterans, and mental health) that work to send non-violent drug users (not sellers or traffickers) to treatment instead of prison.
In closing, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Together, lets make 2018 Marietta’s safest year ever.
Chief Dan Flynn