Crime Prevention Unit
Crime Prevention & Service to the Community
The directive of the Crime Prevention Unit is two-fold: stop crime before it happens through education and environmental awareness, and also to provide additional services to those who are often the victims of crime.
Proactive Response to Crime Control
The Crime Triangle theory suggests that, for a crime to occur, you must have an offender with the desire, opportunity, and ability to commit a crime. Each one of these elements make up a side of the triangle: if you remove any one of these elements, the chance for victimization decreases. The following programs in use by the Crime Prevention Unit attack elements of the triangle:
- Neighborhood Watch Program - Reduces the opportunity to commit a crime by building a community coalition of neighbors that look out for each other and who report suspicious incidents and individuals to the Sheriff's Office. Our deputies make it a point to patrol these communities, becoming familiar with both the residents and their concerns. Under this program, everyone is responsible for helping to keep their neighborhood safe!
- Robbery Awareness Training - Offered to retail and banking institutions, this training focuses on risk awareness, how to reduce the chances of being robbed, and crime recognition. Employees learn situational awareness, and are taught everyday techniques that can discourage a would-be robber.
- The Crime Prevention Unit serves as a liaison with both the TRIAD (a cooperation of law enforcement agencies) and Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) organizations to help reduce crime victimization against the elderly. This unit is also the cornerstone of Gloucester's yearly Senior Safety Fair, which offers education, strategies, and available resources to combat crimes such as fraud and identity theft that often target senior citizens.
- The Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team (GUEST) program has the Crime Prevention deputy assist them in the yearly planning and establishment of overnight accommodations for the homeless during the winter months.
- The Crime Prevention Unit runs Project Lifesaver, which assists in providing for the well-being of cognitively challenged individuals within the Gloucester community. By providing frequency emitting bracelets, at-risk individuals can be located if they are ever separated from their homes and loved ones. Further, Project Lifesaver helps to build relationships with these citizens, which assists in their safe recovery.
- Cell Phone Bank - Every month, the Cell Phone Bank provides mobile phones to law enforcement and victim services organizations. These phones are then provided to citizens who otherwise may have no link to the emergency services they need. Phones are collected at drop off boxes at both Gloucester Library branches, and the lobbies of the Gloucester Courthouse and Sheriff's Office.