Crime Prevention Programs
Crime prevention takes many forms ranging from neighborhood/business watch groups to programs that improve the neighborhood.
Senior citizens should not be afraid in their own homes. That was something community activist Adeline Kuzma believed, and two assaults in her own home -- the second one even after she applied safety tips offered by WGNO -- underscored that belief. In memory of Adeline, a program named after her was instituted to boost senior safety in the neighborhood. Adeline's Promise provides locks for seniors to put on their homes, trims bushes, shovels sidewalks, installs smoke detectors, repairs plumbing, provides home-security checks -- just about anything a senior needs to feel safer. The program is operated free of charge to seniors, through a system of volunteers, and in partnership with Hoogerhyde Safe and Lock.
Auto Theft Prevention Authority
A specially designed program to combat auto theft, ATPA is supported by a Michigan State Police grant. Through ATPA, each automobile's Vehicle Identification Number is engraved on all pieces of auto glass with a stencil and special acid. Because thieves can't re-sell a VIN-etched car without exposing their activity, and because replacing auto glass is prohibitively expensive, research shows that autos with VIN-etched glass are far less likely to be stolen. Many insurance companies offer reduced premiums to owners of cars with VIN-etched glass. Two retired policemen, Jim Brower and Rob Prescher, coordinate the ATPA program throughout southern Michigan, and work out of the WGNO office.
An effort for businessmen to watch out for each other’s mutual interests is coordinated by WGNO. Businessmen monitor activity in the community, under the auspices of a number of Business Watch Captains, with a structure very similar to that of the Neighborhood Watch program. Businessmen can share information about avoiding risky clients, bad-check passers, cleaning up panhandling areas and telephone poles inundated with unsightly fliers, etc.
Neighborhood Improvement Surveys
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED focuses on enhancement of lighting, design of buildings and open spaces, to discourage criminals. Free CPTED surveys can be arranged through WGNO.
WGNO helps coordinate a web of neighborhood eyes and ears, all with a design to reduce the impact and incidence of criminal activity within residential areas. Block Captains are designated to serve as lead monitors for each residential block.
Personal Safety Presentations
Businesses can coordinate with WGNO to have a trained Personal Safety Representative instruct employees on methods for staying safe at work, protecting personal property, leaving work safely after dark, and other factors related to personal safety. Neighborhood Watch presentations with similar information, most commonly targeted at seniors, also can be arranged through the organization.