Neighbors Naturescaping

Posted: May 2, 2018 in Current News

Check out the Neighbors Naturescaping Kick-Off Meeting on May 16th at 5:30 pm. It is hosted by Bright Side St. Louis, a volunteer organization at 4646 Shenandoah Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110. You can click here for directions.

This program is available to local community native gardens, neighborhood associations, community groups, block units, nonprofits, and schools. Learn how to apply for up to $1,500 for native perennials, grasses, shrubs, trees, and bulbs, as well as hardscape materials and gardening tools.

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Coffee Talk

Posted: May 2, 2018 in Current News

This reoccurring event is facilitated by local law enforcement. Tomorrow’s event will be in Forest Park Southeast. You can click here for directions.

Coffee Talk.jpg

A little over a year ago, another intern here wrote a great post about what to do if your license plate, or the tag on your plate, get stolen. You can check out that post by clicking here.

Unfortunately FPSE has been getting reports again that license plate tags are being stolen. A member of the community reported that it looks like someone went up and down an alley near Arco & Gibson and took the tags off every vehicle they could. So, here’s what you can do:

First and foremost, check your car. See if your tags are up to date and still on your vehicle.

If your tag is stolen, please contact the police. If you are ticketed for expired plates, filing a report that your tags are stolen can prevent a $100 fine from the city.

If your tag is stolen, and you have contacted the police, order new tags. If you can, order these “enhanced” tags that make it more difficult for people to steal. If your tags are about to expire, you will be getting these enhanced tags when you go to the DMV. If you want these tags now, they are about $12 ($8.50 plus a $3.50 fee).

If your tag is not stolen, consider replacing the tags with the enhanced tag version. If you cannot afford to do that, here’s another tip: score the tag on your plates with a sharp knife, razor, X-Acto knife, or something similar. This makes it more difficult for people to pull off without ripping the tag into pieces. The downside is that that tactic works best when it’s the only tag on your plate. If you have a bunch of tags on top of each other, the tags could simply fall off.

Consider parking elsewhere. Park your car in a public-viewing area, garage, where a camera points at it, or where a neighbor can keep an eye on it. Dark, quiet alleys that get almost no foot traffic are a higher risk because the thieves know they do not have to worry about witnesses and have access to many cars at once.

I have one last bit of advice for you – How to correctly install a license plate tag:

  1. Remove previous tag(s)
  2. Clean the area with a paper towel and some cleaning agent
    1. glass cleaner works well, so do disinfectant wipes
  3. let the area dry or wipe down with a dry cloth, otherwise the adhesive might not stick to the plate
  4. add the new sticker
    1. if this is the enhanced version, you’re done!
    2. if this is the normal version, score the sticker with a knife and you’re good to go!

Block Captain Application

Posted: January 16, 2018 in Current News

Apply to be a block captain today! Simply download and fill out the attached form and email it to fpsesafe@gmail.com. Or, you can print it off and either mail it to us or drop it off at 4400 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110. We’re always looking for more people to help us make communities better.

Block Captain Flyer Fill Out

Block Captain Flyer

Passwords

Posted: January 10, 2018 in Crime Tips
Tags: , ,

How long has it been since you changed your passwords?

Unless you work in an industry where cyber security is a top priority, the typical person should change their passwords every 180 days or about twice a year.

Why should I change my passwords?

The internet has become a hub for just about everything. You can stay in contact with friends and family, exchange information with coworkers and employers, order electronics, buy groceries, and more. Websites most people use include Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix. All of these websites store personal information, such as full names, home and workplace addresses, phone numbers, and bank account information. Leaving this information vulnerable online can leave you vulnerable.

What is a good password?

A good password is a mixture of a bunch of variables. You need to be able to remember it or store it somewhere safe. Safe locations to store a password include written on paper in a locked drawer or secure location, a password vault app, and an encrypted file. It is not safe to store passwords on your computer in a text document, on a sticky note by your computer, or a digital notepad on your phone.

A good password is not a word or phrase you use frequently, shorter than 8 characters (letters, numbers, or symbols), and all the same capitalization. Do not include the word “password” in your password. Good passwords have 8 or more characters, and are a mixture of capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

You can also make your password numerous words long if words are easier for you to remember than a stream of characters. If you have trouble coming up with a new, unique password, simply search for a “strong password generator” on your preferred search engine. There are many free websites that will provide you with a random selection of characters.

Here are some examples of a good password:

  • mr4AX9ZjAq
  • #XuxmQv9F9
  • *Wolf1Confuse2Division3House4!
  • TokyoJack#Skype@56

Notice that some of these password examples are gibberish and others contain English. If you know a second language, you can use a combination of English and non-English words or only use non-English. If you use non-English, it’s still important to use a variety of characters.

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.

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 are many factors that can make your home a better target for burglary than other homes. For example, your house is at greater risk if:

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