Porter, Indiana - Gateway to the Dunes
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Any residents with left over or unused prescription drugs are encouraged to bring them to drop them off in the Police Station's prescription drug drop-off box!

Police Department - Crime Prevention Tips

Three factors must be present for a crime to occur: Desire, Ability and Opportunity.
By following the simple rules below, you can have a big impact on crime. A Police Department's greatest ally in crime prevention is YOU.

While at Home Walking
Carrying a Purse Driving
Having a Garage Sale Doors and Windows
On Vacation While Traveling
ATM Safety

While at Home
Use a door viewer before opening your door. Always demand identification from strangers (even repair or sales persons). Always lock up your home before leaving. Don't hide your house keys outdoors anywhere. Use interior and exterior lighting at all times. Have keys ready and in your hand for immediate use when you return home.
Join Operation Identification - most burglars will not steal marked property.

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Plan your route ahead of time. Never walk alone at night; walk with a friend or your dog. Use well lit streets; not dark alleys or bushy areas. Carry signaling devices like shriek alarms or a whistle. Carry pepper spray (requires a short training course). BE ALERT! Look behind you occasionally. NEVER ask for or accept a ride from a stranger. Don't carry large sums of money or wear valuable jewelry. Don't resist an armed robber - hand over whatever is demanded quickly and quietly. Your life and safety are worth more than any personal property.

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Carrying a Purse
If possible, don't carry a purse! Never carry anything you can't afford to lose in it.
Carry your purse across the front of your body, with your forearm across the front of the purse and your elbow held tightly against your side. Carry your keys, wallet or other valuables in pockets in your clothes.
Carry minimum amounts of cash and credit cards. Keep a record of all of your card numbers.

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Always look inside before entering your car. Lock all doors immediately after you are in the car. Never pick up hitchhikers. If a stranger approaches while you are in the car, keep the windows up, doors locked, and engine running. Honk your horn if you need to attract attention. Park in well lit areas at night. Always lock your car when leaving it. Consider installing an auto burglar alarm system. Don't leave anything valuable in your car if at all possible.

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Having a Garage Sale
Garage sales are generally safe. HOWEVER, here are some precautions. Do not advertise garage sales as a “moving sale;” this implies that the house may be vacant for extended periods of time. Do not answer personal questions about the house such as type of alarm, daytime occupancy, etc. Do not let people inside (to use the bathroom, phone, etc.) Hide or destroy boxes from computers, TV’s, VCR’s, etc. Don’t accidentally advertise that you own such items

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Doors and Windows

Exterior Doors
Many residential doors are of wood hollow-core construction and have poor locks. They are easily forced or kicked open. If you want better protection, you need to install solid doors and quality locks. For maximum protection, use metal doors. Do not use doors with glass panels.

Sliding Glass Doors
Many burglars enter homes through poorly protected sliding glass doors. Additional locks and security measures here will prevent the door from being opened or lifted out of the track. Screws installed in the track above the sliding door frame will prevent the door from being lifted out of the track. Drill a pilot hole in the top track above and slightly in, from each corner of the sliding door frame section and install a screw into each hole. Adjust the screws so that the head of the screw just barely clears the frame when it is moved back and forth. Auxiliary patio door locks may also be purchased and install easily.

Double Doors
These doors need solid security as they are easily jimmied or forced open. Flush lever bolts installed at the top and bottom of the doors are recommended. Make sure the bolt is long, sturdy and mounted into a solid door frame.

Doors with Windows
Doors with glass windows or glass ornamentation require double key deadbolt locks. This prevents the burglar from breaking the glass and reaching inside to unlock the door. IMPORTANT – The key to a double key deadbolt lock should be left in the lock at all times when someone is home (this is necessary to ensure easy exit in the event of a fire or other emergency).

Garage Doors
Standard locks on garage doors are easily pried, allowing a burglar access to your home without detection. Cane bolts and hasps are excellent protection. Make certain each side of the garage door is secured to prevent prying open a crawl space. The door leading from the garage into the house should be securely locked. The more barriers you provide against the burglar, the better protected you are.

Many homes have doors which open to the outside, exposing the hinge pins. Despite your good strong lock, the burglar can remove the pins and lift the door from the frame. To prevent this, remove two opposing screws from each leaf of the hinge. Screw a long lag bolt into the frame side of the hinge leaf and saw off the head leaving about ½ inch protruding. Drill out the opposite hole to allow the bolt to enter when the door is closed. Do this to the top and bottom hinge plates. The hinge pins can now be removed by the burglar but the door will remain firmly in place. This technique is good for any door, no matter how t he hinges have been placed.

Door Viewers
In order to avoid opening your door without knowing who is there, install a door viewer. This device has a wide angle lens to let you see someone standing outside your door without opening it.

Spring Latch
Some homes come equipped with this lock. It offers very little protection. The bolt can be slipped with a credit card or knife. This same lock, with a deadbolt latch, provides more protection, but it too can be forced open.

Deadbolt Locks
A deadbolt lock can provide good protection. When you turn the key, the lock mechanism slides a strong metal bolt from the door into the frame. When you buy a deadbolt lock, make sure:

  • The bolt extends at least one inch from the edge of the door.
  • The connecting screws that hold the lock together are on the inside of the door.
  • The strike plate is attached to the door frame with screws that measure at least three inches in length.
  • The cylinder has a steel guard around the key section. The cylinder guard should be tapered or rotate freely around the key section to prevent wrenching if it is twisted.

Single Cylinder Deadbolt
A solid bolt, activated by a key from the outside or a knob on the inside, slides into the door frame. The lock cannot be slipped or easily pried. Deadbolt locks are only as good as the door and frame they are installed in.

Double Cylinder Deadbolt
This lock is basically the same as the single cylinder deadbolt, except that it requires a key to be used from either side to function.

Rim Lock
This lock has either horizontal or vertical deadbolts. It cannot be easily slipped, pried, or forced with a wrench. This lock, like all others, requires a strong mounting surface and hardware to be effective.

When selecting padlocks to secure your garage door, storage shed, fence gate, or tool box, do not economize. Low priced locks are made from low quality materials and are easily pried open or cut with bolt cutters. Look for these features when purchasing a padlock:

  • Double locking shackle at the toe and heel.
  • Hardened steel shackle, the larger the diameter the better.
  • Five pin tumbler.
  • Key retaining feature (prevents removal of the key when unlocked).
  • A strong steel hasp should be used with the padlock.

Sliding Windows
Sliding glass windows should be given the same security treatment as sliding glass doors. Use the same supplementary locks or screws in the frame. Screws installed in the track above the sliding window frame will prevent the window from being lifted out of the track. Drill a pilot hole in the top track above each corner of the window frame and install a screw into each hole. Adjust the screws so that the head of the screw just barely clears the frame when it is moved back and forth.

Casement – Crank Windows
These windows are easily secured. The latch should close properly with the window tight. With the latch in a closed position, drill a small hole through the latch frame and handle. Insert a metal pin through the hole to lock the window.
For additional security, a small padlock can be used in place of the pin. Key operated replacement latches are also available from a locksmith or hardware store. Keep the key handy in case of emergency.

Double Hung Windows
An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the “pin” trick. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert the pin (a nail or an eyebolt which is slightly smaller in diameter than the hole). The window can’t be opened until you remove the pin. Make a second set of holes with windows partially open so you can have ventilation without inviting intruders.
You may also purchase special key locks for windows at a hardware store.

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On Vacation
A vacation or a business trip should be a pleasant experience for you and your family. You can help make each trip more enjoyable by taking a few simple steps to reduce the possibility that your home will be broken into while you are gone. An empty house (or one that looks that way!) is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you’re away.

  1. Have good locks on all doors and windows, and USE THEM!
  2. Make sure any broken windows, doors, or window locks are repaired.
  3. Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you’re away. It’s a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
  4. Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
  5. Stop all deliveries, or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers, and packages.
  6. Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
  7. Have a neighbor place garbage cans at the curb on your normal pickup days and return them after the garbage pickup is made.
  8. Plug in timers to turn lights and a radio or television on and off at appropriate times. This helps to disguise the fact that you are away.
  9. Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won’t be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.
  10. Don’t announce your absence on answering machine messages; leave your normal message on the machine.
  11. Leave your blinds, shades, and curtains in a normal position. Don’t close them unless that is what you do when you are home.
  12. Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
  13. Secure storage sheds, attic entrances, and gates.
  14. Consider taking valuables to a bank safe deposit box.
  15. Tell the police you plan to be away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check your home.
  16. Engrave your valuables. This simple step will allow your stolen property to be identified and returned to you if recovered by the police.

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While Traveling
  1. If you are driving, make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in suitable condition for the journey.
  2. Try to have specific directions and routes to your destination. If you get lost, call the local police for directions or assistance.
  3. DON’T keep your “pink slip” in your vehicle.
  4. Keep your vehicle doors and windows locked, even while you are in it!
  5. At stop lights and other traffic delays, leave enough space in front of your vehicle so that you have an escape option in case of an emergency.
  6. Let someone know the route you intend to travel and your itinerary. This will help authorities in locating you if there is a need to do so.
  7. Plan your trip carefully and allow for factors such as weather, fatigue, facilities for lodging, food, and fuel.
  8. Be sure you have sufficient money available; use traveler’s checks or credit cards instead of large amounts of cash.
  9. Ask the hotel or motel staff about their security measures so you know what to expect.
  10. Use the hotel safe to store your valuables during your stay.

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ATM Safety
Be careful when using an ATM, especially when getting cash. Follow these precautions:
  1. Always watch for suspicious persons or activity around an ATM.
  2. If you notice anything strange, leave and return some other time.
  3. Even if you have already started a transaction, cancel it and leave.
  4. After dark:
    • Take a companion along.
    • Park close to the ATM in a well lighted area; lock your car.
    • If the lights around the ATM aren’t working, don’t use it.
  5. Use your body as a shield while you enter your access code, so no one can see you type it.
  6. Take all of your transaction receipts with you; don’t throw them away near the ATM.
  7. If you get cash – put it away right away; don’t stand at the ATM and count it.
  8. Never accept offers of assistance with the ATM from strangers; ask the bank for help.
  9. If you use a drive-up ATM, your vehicle’s other doors should be locked with the windows up.
  10. Memorize your access code; don’t write it down and/or carry it with you.
  11. Don’t use an access code that’s the same as other words or numbers in your wallet.
  12. Never tell your access code to ANYONE!! (Including bank employees, the police, etc.)
  13. Never lend your ATM card to anyone; treat it like cash or a credit card.
  14. If you lose your ATM card, notify your bank or credit union immediately.

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