DEAR ABBY: Although the crime rate has been dropping nationwide for the past several years, our citizens still fear being victimized. Of the crimes that are committed, the majority could have been avoided if the victim had taken some preventive measures.
Most law enforcement agencies have crime prevention specialists available to their citizens free of charge. A wide variety of literature and training courses are available to the business and residential communities. Some of the training and programs offered are: auto theft prevention, personal safety, fraud prevention, workplace violence prevention, robbery prevention and survival, Neighborhood Watch, programs for senior citizens, and burglary prevention -- including on-site security inspections of homes and businesses.
Parents tell their children not to talk to strangers, but most children who are abducted are taken by someone they know. The Internet can be a very dangerous place for a child. These and other child safety issues can be addressed by a crime prevention specialist.
Anyone can become the victim of a crime. As a police officer, I assure you that we would rather educate people in crime prevention techniques than work with them as crime victims. Abby, I would encourage your readers to contact their local law enforcement agency to find out what crime prevention services are offered and take advantage of those services. When it comes to criminal activity, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. -- GARRY CUOSO-VASQUEZ, CHIEF OF POLICE, MONTEBELLO, CALIF.
DEAR CHIEF CUOSO-VASQUEZ: Thank you for a thought-provoking letter. I'm sure that many readers will be pleasantly surprised to know about the crime prevention programs that are available in their communities simply by asking their local police departments for them.