The Duluth Police Department's Public Information Office mission is two-fold: to promote citizen participation in the reduction and prevention of crime through education and active support as well as to provide educational and safety-related programs based on community needs.
The Public Information Office accomplishes its mission through the development and presentation of various programs in response to the changing needs of the city, as well as maintaining established prevention, safety, and educational programs. The unit works with patrol and investigative personnel to assist with special programs and to address community concerns. Crime prevention duties include speaking to various groups on crime prevention methods, distributing crime prevention literature, staffing information booths, alerting victims on how to best avoid future victimization, developing crime prevention materials for use by the media, and developing or maintaining liaisons within individual neighborhoods.
Crime Prevention Education Flyers
Home Burglary Prevention
Business Burglary Prevention
Package Theft Prevention
Suspicious Activity Reporting
Elder Fraud Prevention
Family Violence & Crime Victim Information
Business Burglary Prevention
Is your business safe from burglary? The following information is designed to help you fight business burglary from a crime prevention approach. A crime prevention approach includes identifying areas of criminal vulnerability and implementing appropriate security measures to prevent your business from becoming a victim of a burglary. For your business burglary prevention program to be effective active participation, interest, and concern are needed.
Remember the following:
- Consider key control. Are office keys, master keys, safe keys, and vehicle keys lying about? Do you know to whom your keys have been issued or entrusted? If you cannot answer these questions, your security risk factor is very high;
- Keep a record of all keys issued. Master keys and extra duplicates should be locked away for safekeeping. When a particular key is needed, everyone must sign for its use;
- Have all keys stamped with the words "Do Not Duplicate";
- Familiarize your employees with your security systems and procedures. Efficient, alert, well informed, and understanding employees are necessary to help protect your business;
- The address and name of your business should be visible from the street. Use large, reflective numbers. Place large, reflective numbers on the roof of your building to assist police helicopter patrols in identifying your business.
- Issue ID badges to all employees and visitors. Question anyone in your business who does not have an ID badge; If practical, the entire perimeter of your property should be fenced. Depending on your location, barbed-wire topping may be recommended;
- When not in use, gates should be secured with quality padlocks and chains;
- Electronic gates, alarms, closed-circuit television, two-way communications and electric eye gate openers assist in the detection and identification of intruders;
- Gates should have predetermined opening and locking schedules with one employee responsible for that duty;
- Post warning signs to encourage customers and employees to always lock their unattended vehicles and to lock any valuables in the trunk out of sight;
- Deny burglars access to your roof by securing ladders, pallets, boxes, and crates away from your building;
- Deny burglars a place to hide by keeping grass and shrubs trimmed and debris cleared away from your property;
- Alarms, trained guard dogs, and professional security also help deter burglars especially if there is a property that must be stored outside.
At night, properly placed lighting can deter burglars. Lighting by itself does not prevent crime. Many times businesses are burglarized even though well lit, however proper lighting increases the chance that a burglar will be detected by a witness or police during the commission of the crime. The longer the burglar is exposed in a well-lit area, the greater the chance of detection. Burglars do not want to be detected, and in most cases will choose a poorly lit business as a target. Unless you have formal or informal surveillance of an area, lighting may not always prevent crime. In fact, good lighting without surveillance may actually encourage criminal activity in some cases. Good surveillance and lighting used together, however, provide the business with the first line of defense against burglary.
The electricity provider for your business can provide information and install outdoor lighting.
Go to the following web sites for details:
Outdoor Lighting | For Your Business (georgiapower.com)
- All exterior doors should be constructed of steel, aluminum alloy, or solid-core hardwood, with a minimum of 16-gauge steel on the side and rear doors. Glass doors should have shatter-resistant glass or plexiglass installed;
- Double doors should be secured with heavy-duty multi-point, 3" long flush bolts;
- The frame of the door must be as strong as the door itself;
- Exterior swinging doors should have a one-inch deadbolt with a hardened steel insert and a free turning steel cylinder guard;
- Double throw cylinder locks are recommended where glass is located within 40 inches of the locking mechanism.
- Sliding glass windows and sash windows should have locking pins, bolts, locks, or swing latches to prevent opening from the building's exterior;
- Secure all windows. First floor windows should have shatter-resistant glass installed.
- Install glass break sensors in an alarm system in rooms with windows.
- To provide optimum window security install bars, grilles, grates, or heavy-duty wire screening;
- Skylights, ventilation openings, air conditioning/heating ducts, and crawl spaces are all potential entry points for burglars. Permanently secure these openings by installing metal grilles or grates. If these openings cannot be secured, make sure they are protected by the alarm system.
There are two basic types of intruder detection alarms, audible and silent. The basic purpose of an alarm device is to deter an intruder from entering your business or to alert law enforcement of illegal entry. Alarms can also assist police in the apprehension of the suspect.
Different types of alarm systems include:
- Glass Break Sensors
- Motion Sensors
- Photoelectric Sensors
- Door/Window Sensors
- Closed-Circuit Television Sensors (CCTV)
- Electronic Fences
- Electronic Doors and Gates
The most common assaults on padlocks are made with bolt-cutters or pry bars. Quality padlocks should have the following:
- Laminated or extruded cases;
- A hardened steel shackle at least 9/32" in diameter;
- A double-locking bolt providing "heel and toe" locking;
- At least 5-pin tumblers in the cylinder and;
- A key-retaining feature that prevents removal of the key until the padlock is locked.
The chain, wire, or hasp that you use with the padlock should also be made of high quality hardened steel.
Scammers tend to target elderly people with all kinds of schemes, taking advantage of their isolation, ease of trust, higher savings, and lack of tech-savvy, among other things.
Unfortunately, these scams often work. Advanced technology can be hard for many seniors to keep up with, and they may be viewed as naive or gullible. To top it all off, con artists target elders knowing that they may be lonely, longing for purpose in life, and are more trusting of and willing to help younger people.
Special Report: COVID-19 Scams
It didn’t take scammers long to begin attempting to capitalize on confusion and fear over the new coronavirus. Federal, state, and local officials across the country have alerted consumers, particularly older people, to be aware of several fraud schemes tied to the virus. Here’s a look at the major schemes that have been identified as of March 18, 2020:
A phone- and social media-based scam targets people by purporting to be from medical organizations, such as hospitals or the CDC, claiming to have a dose of COVID-19 vaccine ready for the target of the scam. The scammer generally then seeks an over-the-phone payment.
No vaccine has been developed to prevent COVID-19.
Charity scams are common regardless of what’s happening in the news, but fraudsters follow the headlines, and coronavirus is a prime way for them to claim they’re gathering donations for families that have been affected by the virus or the economic fallout.
Research any potential charity, and never give donations through cash or gift cards or by wiring money.
The coronavirus crisis is rapidly evolving, and many people are eager to make sure they have the most up-to-date information. But it’s still important to avoid exposing your devices to harm, such as malware and viruses. For instance, an email scam uses the logo of the World Health Organization to lure users into clicking on a button that unleashes malware, and another uses a mimic of the popular Johns Hopkins University coronavirus map to install spyware that can steal passwords, credit card numbers and other data stored within the web browser.
Closely analyze any URL that you click on to be sure it’s actually connected to the source; in the case of the fake map, instead of routing to a Johns Hopkins-affiliated site, the fraudsters point to Corona-Virus-Map.com.
A tactic similar to the vaccine scam, many fraudsters call or email posing as professional cleaners or similar service providers, offering to sanitize homes or businesses. While there are businesses that specialize in this service, they are not engaged in randomly calling potential customers out of the blue.
Reputable businesses don’t engage in hard sells or pressure tactics, particularly if they claim to want to help during this difficult time.
Though not a scam in the same way that fraudsters use email to target people, many businesses have attempted to sell their existing products as treatments or even cures for COVID-19 or coronavirus. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued warnings against at least seven companies that the agencies say have been misbranding products as treatments or preventives against coronavirus. Products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.
No vaccines exist, and no drugs are currently available that can prevent or treat coronavirus itself.
Many schemes against seniors are performed over e-mail, the phone, and even through door-to-door advertising. They may take the form of alleged credit card offers, charity donation requests, home improvement offers, investment opportunities, banking and wire transfers, insurance offers, health products, and sweepstakes and contests, to name a few.
A lot of times, these scams go unreported or are hard to prosecute. Of course, they can be catastrophic to senior victims, especially those in vulnerable situations. For example, wealthy seniors are not the only ones at risk of financial abuse. Low-income elderly individuals are also very much subject to being targeted, and it’s not always strangers who commit these crimes. You may be surprised to learn that more than 90 percent of all reported elder abuse is actually perpetrated by a senior’s very own family members.
This guide covers the various fraud tactics that scammers commonly use, followed by more detail on each type of fraud. Last but not least, if you suspect that you or someone you know may be a victim of a scam, briefly review the resources you can turn to.
For more information about Scams Targeting Seniors, click HERE