By Officer Tim Mitten
Community Action Officer
Black Mountain Precinct

Another year has gone by and the holidays are approaching us at full steam ahead. The holiday season is a time for reflection, celebration and renewal and as we do these things let us all remember the less fortunate or those having difficulties, temporary or permanent. There are many ways we can assist, from the donation of time, money or gifts to even the small things like being courteous or polite during this hectic season. I will be mentioning again some tips to have a safe holiday season.

This past year has been another active one for law enforcement and Phoenix PD in many ways. There are always too many tragic events across this country or in this community to mention but the officers of the Phoenix Police Department will continue to serve the citizens of Phoenix in a respectful and professional manner. We appreciate and are very thankful for the continued gestures and words of support that we get from everyone, it means a lot to the officers to know that they are supported in their jobs.

This time of year also brings along many events to attend, family to visit, traveling, shopping and much more. Many of you will not think of crime prevention during these festive times but a few simple reminders will help reduce the opportunities for you and your family to be a victim.

1. When walking to and from stores keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. Walk with a purpose, do not divert your attention by texting or talking on the phone, digging for car keys or be burdened with too many bags.

2. Park in a well lit area, do not park in dark or faraway places. I know it is difficult to find good parking, but do the best you can. If you go in at daylight hours and think you might be inside until it is dark, park as if it were dark.

3. Roll the windows on your car all the way up and LOCK your car. Do not leave valuables, packages, or even gym bags, in plain view inside the car; put them all in the trunk. Gym bags or other bags in view may not have but a few items of clothes in them but the thieves do not know that and will try anyways.

4. When parking your cars at home, get them in the garage if you can. If you must park in the driveway or street, remove all valuables, garage door openers and lock the car. Many thieves will break into a car just to take the garage opener and then use it to take items from the garage or enter the house at a later time.

5. Do not keep large amounts of cash with you or display cash when shopping. Take with you only what you need for the day. Be on guard while at ATM’s.

6. Keep a constant eye on your children and ALWAYS know where they are. Children are easily distracted by the decorations and excitement of the holidays and may wander off in only a couple seconds.

7. Do not drink and drive, please use a designated driver, call a taxi or uber. This time of the year many people have holiday functions from work or family and drink when they usually don’t and make a bad decision to drive which could end up having tragic consequences. Please enjoy the season but drive responsibly and patiently.

8. Make sure the doors and windows to your home are locked, the front lights are on all night and keep a watchful eye for suspicious activity. If you are expecting deliveries and you will not be home, ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up when they arrive. Please call Crime Stop at 602-262-6151 if you see suspicious activity.

9. Please drive carefully, schools will be out on winter break and many kids will be out in the neighborhoods trying out new bikes, toys, and you need to be aware of their presence.

10. If you are going to be out of town for a winter vacation, tell a trusted neighbor to watch over your house, do not post on social media that you will be gone and call the Black Mountain Precinct at 602-495-5002 and ask for a Vacation Watch. Officers can check on your house while you are gone, if the radio calls allow them to.

11. Lastly, be patient. The crowds are larger, people are rushed and stressed. Some people do not like the holidays and can act out so please exercise patience and we all can enjoy the holidays in our own way.

Thank you again for another year of working together and the partnership your community has with the Phoenix Police Department. If there is anything I can do or if you have any questions on any matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at 602-495-5238 or at [email protected]. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.