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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Whether you’re a parent or not, keeping your neighborhood a safe place for kids should be a top priority. You probably remember the golden days of your youth, when you could run the streets, playing baseball and hanging out with your friends without a care in the world. It’s only right that children who live in your neighborhood have those same opportunities to enjoy those fleeting days of childhood. There are many steps that you and your neighbors can take to keep kids safe on your street.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

It may seem old fashioned, but taking the time to knock on your neighbor’s door and say hi can go a long way. If you’re a parent, the National Crime Prevention Council recommends getting to know your neighbors on a personal level and choosing a safe house within the neighborhood. This way, your children know exactly where they can go if they see something suspicious or encounter a stranger who makes them feel uncomfortable.

Create a Neighborhood Watch

After you have spoken with several of your neighbors and you’re all on the same page about improving safety in your area, work together to create a neighborhood watch. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, the best way to get people to participate is to go door-to-door asking neighbors to participate. After you have enough participation, contact your local law enforcement in order to let them know you have established this program in your neighborhood. Neighborhood watch as an organization will improve safety in the community in a variety of ways, from volunteering to patrolling the area to raising money to install better security systems. Many systems are capable of detecting criminal break-ins but also fire, carbon monoxide leaks and floods, according to www.securitycompanies.com.

Work With Local Businesses to Create Jobs, and Opportunities for Youth

You and your neighbors can contact local businesses in the area to help provide children in the neighborhood with opportunities to keep them occupied. Older teens and young adults will benefit from summer jobs, which help to keep them busy as well as teach them about responsibility. Perhaps some businesses in your area can set up programs for young children such as camps, art programs and sports clinics to help keep them busy throughout the day. This also allows children to build trust with other community leaders who will also work to keep them safe from harm.

Stay Informed of Crime Statistics, Remain in Contact With the Police

Of course, remaining informed is crucial to keeping your neighborhood safe. Most police departments will release crime statistics and reports on a regular basis, so make sure you know what type of crime is happening in your area, when it’s happening and where it’s occurring. If you notice anything suspicious or out of sorts, contact your local police department immediately. With more neighbors on the look out, chances are that less crime will happen in your neighborhood. Through communication and information, your neighborhood will immediately become a safer place for everyone who lives there.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to make safe neighborhoods.

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