Archive for the ‘Current News’ Category

Child Security

Posted: October 5, 2017 in Crime Tips, Current News
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Child Safety & Security Classes

Is your child starting to be old enough to be left at home alone or with a sibling? Are they using the internet alone? The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers free online training for kids aged 5-17 on home alone safety, internet identity safety, and cyberbullying. Their website is www.netsmartz.org and they have materials for both kids and parents.

DIY Child ID Kit

Although it is not something you would ever want to have to use, a child ID kit is essential if you ever need law enforcement’s help finding your child. It is also a great tool to have when traveling far distances or if you live in a natural disaster area. Here’s what you need to make one at home:

  • Photo of the child’s face, in color, that has been taken in the last 6 months
    • The photo should be updated regularly, about twice a year
    • You should keep a physical copy on hand as well as a digit copy on a phone or computer that you can easily access
  • Create a description of your child and include their name, nickname, birthday, gender, hair color & style, eye color, weight, height, and any identifying qualities. Identifying qualities can include if they wear glasses, have braces, piercings, and birthmarks.
  • A copy of your child’s fingerprints
    • Grab some fingerprint ink from an office supply store
    • Have your child thoroughly wash their hands and fingertips
    • Roll their finger across the ink pad and then roll their finger across plain cardstock or paper, using firm and even pressure
    • The print should show lines and swirls clearly. If there are smudges, try again
    • Keep these prints somewhere secure. Do not give to anyone (including law enforcement) unless it is an emergency
  • A sample of DNA
    • There are services that you can use to collect and store your child’s DNA in case of an emergency, or you can do one of the following:
      • Have your child use a new toothbrush without toothpaste. Do not rinse it off. Let it air dry and then store it in a brown envelope. Use a self-sealing envelope or have your child lick to seal the envelope, and then store it in a cool, dry location
      • Follow the above instructions but instead have your child exclusively use a new hairbrush for a month. Store it with the hair in the brush
      • Collect a used bandage with a blood sample on it from your child and store it in a brown envelope in a cool, dry place
    • Dental Impressions
      • You can use a clean piece of Styrofoam to collect bite marks from your child. Have them bit down firmly on Styrofoam, so that you can clearly see their tooth impressions. Store somewhere safe, and update every two years until they are 18
    • Medical Reports
      • Keep copies of x-rays, dental records, and documentations of broken bones somewhere safe and accessible

If you can only do a couple of these things, the photograph, description, and DNA sample are the most important things to keep.

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Fireworks Day Safety Tips

Posted: June 29, 2017 in Current News

It is ILLEGAL and DANGEROUS to set off fireworks in St. Louis City limits (ordinance 65824). If you go somewhere outside of the city to set off fireworks, remember these tips:

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It can be scary if you are in an accident, serious or minor. If you haven’t been in one before, it can be a bit confusing to know what to do. Here are 7 tips for what to do in this situation.

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Get a cellphone with free roaming and a global data plan – AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer these plans. Having access to a cellphone can increase security by allowing you to contact people back home, the police, and your embassy.

Hide or turn off your home’s wifi before you leave – depending on your service plan, this may save you money. But it can increase your virtual security while you’re gone and prevent people from using your internet.

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There has been a small spike in license plate and registration sticker thefts in St. Louis this month. Your license plate can be easily taken off of your car no matter where you are parked, home or not. Most thieves only need a screwdriver to take it and there can be major ramifications for you if your plates are used by someone else. For example, if your plates are identified with a crime, you could be a suspect if you haven’t reported them missing.

What do you do if your license plate is stolen?

  1. Immediately report it to the police – call the non-emergency number.
  2. Obtain an incident report number – It is illegal to drive without plates, but if you have your report number or an official copy of the report you can give it to an officer if they pull you over.
  3. Report the stolen plate to the Licensing Office at City Hall – bring your incident report number. There will be a small replacement fee.
  4. Get a temporary tag  or a new license plate.
  5. Secure your new plates with the methods outlined below.

How can you prevent license plate theft?

  1. Get theft prevention screws – Most thieves will carry around a screwdriver to get off plates. If you use special screws that require a particular tool to remove them, it is likely the thief will move on. There are multiple brands, such as Torx Security Screws or Plate Keeper.
  2. Get a plate security frame or cover – These  go around the edge of your plate or cover it entirely and keep people from taking them off. There are multiple brands, such as Lock-Um.

How can you prevent registration sticker theft?

  1. You can obtain enhanced security tabs/stickers that have perforated edges to make them difficult to remove by thieves. They also have your license plate number on them to dissuade thieves. They are free at time of renewal, or you can obtain them later for an $8.50 replacement fee and $3.50 processing fee.
    1. http://dor.mo.gov/motorv/enhancedtabs/
  2. You can slice your old sticker with something sharp, like a razor (be very careful!). This makes them difficult to remove.

St. Louis’ Stolen License Plates Page

Keep safe,

Abigail Orscheln — Safety and Security Intern

Winter Safety Tips

Posted: December 2, 2016 in Crime Tips, Current News
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Winter is a beautiful season, but cold and snowy/icy conditions can present a lot of safety concerns. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe and warm this winter.

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Avoid Scams

Posted: November 25, 2016 in Crime Tips, Current News
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Sometimes scammers will call (or email) you to try to get you to pay them money. They may try to disguise themselves as a utility company or even a family member in need. You should always verify who you are talking to and if something seems suspicious, hang up.

Currently, in Missouri, there is an issue with people calling Ameren customers, pretending to be Ameren employees, and demanding they pay their bill immediately or will have their utilities turned off. Ameren has publicly said they would never do that, and will work with people who owe money. Immediately hang up if you get this suspicious call and report it to Ameren at 800-552-7583.

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Sometimes it is necessary to leave children home alone, whether you are at work while they are coming home from school, going to the grocery store, or out handling other errands. There are certain steps you can take to ensure that your children are safe even when home alone.

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Hate crimes are a felony offense. A hate crime is a type of crime committed against a person, property, or society that was motivated in part or in whole by bias, prejudice, or bigotry against a certain perceived sexual orientation, race, color, ethnicity, religion, creed, gender, disability, ancestry, or national origin. Even misdemeanor crimes, such as theft, trespassing, damage to property, or disorderly conduct can be charged as felonies if there was a biased motivation. 

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Forest Park Southeast is home to The Grove, a booming business and entertainment district in St. Louis City. Going out at night and supporting local businesses is great, but you should always keep your safety in mind! Here are some tips for going out at night.

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