Tag Archives: Crime Prevention

City of Pearland launches safe exchange zone initiative

PRESS RELEASE

ShowImageThe City of Pearland Police Department has initiated a new program called a Safe Exchange Zone. This initiative attempts to address safety and awareness concerns regarding internet-based purchases from websites such as Craigslist and EBay, as well as the various local Facebook groups, or any other item advertised for sale from an individual, regardless of the source of the advertised sale. While many websites, including those previously mentioned, are very credible and are heavily utilized, their popularity makes them easy targets for criminal activity from online predators. The City of Pearland is now offering a secure location available for Pearland residents to help ensure and enhance their safety and to minimize the opportunity for an encounter to go wrong.

The Safe Exchange Zone initiative provides residents with a safe area for prospective buyers and sellers to meet. The City of Pearland has designated a space in the public parking lot of the Public Safety Building located at 2555 Cullen Parkway, as a Safe Exchange Zone for any type of legitimate exchange residents need – which includes internet-based buyer and seller transactions. The Safe Exchange Zone location is located on the Municipal Court side of the building.

For decades, the police department has informally encouraged the use of the police facility for parents and caregivers who have concerns regarding child custody transfers. The Safe Exchange Zones are available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Safe Exchange Zone security extends into our police department lobby to provide an even higher layer of security and shelter, which we encourage residents to utilize for buyer and seller transactions.

If you intend to pursue a meeting to purchase or sell an advertised item from any individual you do not know, please be cautious and do not provide personal or financial information. When corresponding with buyers or sellers you are not familiar with, be extra vigilant by electronically disabling all of the location services on your device and do not send digital photographs with embedded global positioning system (GPS) data. This includes disabling the ‘Frequent Locations’ function located in your ‘System Services’ security setting on cellular telephones. Also, ensure the background location and items in the photographs you post or send do not inadvertently reveal personal information, location information or other items, which may attract online predators. Additionally, ask a lot of questions if you decide to meet with a prospective buyer or seller. Do not meet someone you’re not familiar with in a location you’re not familiar with and do not meet them alone. Most importantly, use the City of Pearland Department Safe Exchange Zone to help ensure a safe transaction encounter.

The City of Pearland Police Department works hard to establish and maintain positive interactions with the members of the Pearland community.

Register Your Security Camera and Help Pearland PD Fight Crime

12065913_890536167666590_4978084334421026202_nHelp Pearland Police Department fight crime. With your expressed permission, the police department can access and view security footage, helping to solve crimes and suppress criminal activity. Participating citizens have no obligation to turn over footage and can choose whether or not to give police access to their camera feed. Additionally, you can unregister at any time.

Participants are required to submit their name and location of the device and will only be contacted in the event of a crime near their area. Visit pearlandtx.gov/surveillance to register.

Wal-Mart on Main Suspected of Tampering with Food Bank Bags

A Pearland resident made some disturbing discoveries on Sunday, May 24 at the Wal-Mart located at 1919 Main St.

The bags of food that were assembled for sale to benefit the Pearland Food Bank had been tampered with by parties unknown, but the changes made to the bags would profit Wal-Mart.

The resident’s attention was drawn to the bags because they were torn. As she investigated further, she noticed that some of the contents had been replaced by expired or soon-to-expire food items and high-priced, hard-to-sell items such as organic rice, Gluten free salad dressing and holiday cake frosting.

We will be following up on this story after the holiday. If you happen to be in any Pearland-area Wal-Mart, please take a look at the food donation bags. If you notice anything like this, please contact us and let us know which location you were at and what you saw.

Pearland Participates in Great Texas Warrant Round-Up

The Round-Up officially begins March 7

Pearland Citizens Police Academy Celebrates 20 Years of Education

54e759c4c855a.imageThe Pearland Citizens Police Academy (CPA) started its 20th anniversary celebration by kicking off Class 40 on Feb. 5. The largest class to date, Class 40 will receive 14 weeks of instruction instead of the traditional 12.

“We wanted to do something special since this is our 40th class and 20th year,” said Community Services Officer Daniel Hamminga. “We have a new logo and a new class schedule.”

FINAL CPAAA LOGO with 20th banner

Texas Department of Public Safety and Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office representatives will speak during the extra two classes, widening the focus of community/law enforcement relationships to the county and state levels.

According to the Pearland Police Dept. website, “The original concept of the Citizens Police Academy (CPA) came from Great Britain, where the UK Constabulary designed a program to give citizens an overview of British law enforcement operations. Known as ‘police night school’ when it began in 1977, the program was an immediate success.

“The idea spread to the United States via the Orlando (Florida) Police Department soon thereafter. The CPA concept can now be found in large and small law enforcement agencies across the USA and Canada.

“The purpose of the program is to allow citizens to meet the men and women who serve them, to educate citizens in the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of law enforcement, and to provide Police Officers the opportunity to meet and hear from the citizens they serve.

“The first Citizens Police Academy in Pearland was started in the spring of 1995. There are now over 600 graduates of the Pearland CPA program.

“The CPA curriculum has become a major focus of job responsibility for the Crime Prevention Officer. The academy is held each spring and fall and stretches for twelve weeks of instruction in the various tasks associated with law enforcement.”

While Class 40 is well underway and full, Class 41 will begin on Aug. 6. For more information or to register for Class 41, visit PearlandPD.com.

Police on Alert After Alleged Gun Threat at Pearland High School

Pearland Police were on alert following a rumor that a Pearland High School student planned to bring a gun to school Thursday (Jan. 30).

Pearland Police were on alert following a rumor that a Pearland High School student planned to bring a gun to school Thursday (Jan. 30). (Photo: Kristi Nix)

Pearland Police are on alert after a student allegedly threatened to bring a gun to Pearland High School Wednesday (Jan. 29). According to a media statement released by Pearland ISD spokesperson Kim Hocott, school administrators received a tip involving social media activity that included inappropriate student photos. The gun threat was directed toward the student involved with the account.

“PHS administrators immediately worked with school resource officers to conduct an investigation. During the investigation, administrators also learned of an alleged threat toward a student rumored to have been involved with the account. This has caused a rumor to spread that a gun will be brought to school tomorrow,” Hocott wrote. “While we have nothing to substantiate this rumor, we take the safety of our students very seriously in Pearland ISD and will continue to closely monitor the campus along with the Pearland Police Dept.”

As a result of the gun threat, extra Pearland Police officers were sent to the school as a precaution Thursday (Jan. 30).

Beware of Holiday Scams

Holiday Scams Texans Should Avoid
With Texans across the state preparing holiday meals and shopping for gifts, a few con artists are dusting off old scams and looking for new victims. Law enforcement can help Texans by spreading the word about how to avoid five popular holiday scams: gift card scams; online shopping schemes; phony charities; credit repair scams; and spam e-mail and other unsolicited offers.

Read more…

Guest Editorial: Prescription for a Safe Holiday Season

Written by: Dannielle Meyer, Brazoria County Community Coalition Coordinator, BACODA

As you prepare for your holiday celebrations, there is so much to do. As you make your lists, and check them twice, there’s one important detail that you may not think of addressing: Where are you keeping your medicine?

It’s certainly not the first thing you may think of while cooking with family or trimming the tree, but your holiday cheer could be ruined if you need to rush a child to the ER after they’ve eaten Grandma’s medicine. And remember those painkillers you got after your root canal last year? Those might be a source of temptation for a curious teenager or someone struggling with an addiction. More than 50% of prescription drug abusers got the drugs from family or friends for free, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Keep your family safe this holiday season with these simple tips:

  1. Remove your medications from the medicine cabinet and lock them out of sight in a secure location.
  2. While you are moving your medications, do an inventory and check for prescriptions that have expired or are no longer needed.  These medications can be safely disposed of through the Brazoria County Prescription Drug Return Program. Prescription Drug Drop Boxes are available at the Police Departments in Alvin, Angleton, Clute, Freeport, Lake Jackson, and Sweeny. The Drop Boxes are located in the lobby. All pills and patches are accepted. This service is provided to the community for free and no questions asked.
  3. Inform your guests about the need for storing medicine safely with children around and offer a secure, out of reach place to keep them during their stay.
  4. Just in case, have the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ number programmed into your phone, 1-800-222-1222.

This year, Brazoria County has made great strides in preventing prescription drug abuse. Six permanent prescription drug drop boxes are in place across the county, and since February, 1,017.8 pounds of drugs have been collected. On behalf of the Brazoria County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, we thank you for protecting our youth, our community, and our environment by ridding your homes of unneeded medications.

Lake Jackson Chief of Police Rick Park emphasized the importance of the Drop Boxes, saying, “The Lake Jackson Police Department Prescription Drop Box provides our citizens with a safe means to dispose of medications which might otherwise find their way into the hands of our children, or end up in our wastewater systems or landfills. The simple existence of a “no questions asked” location for disposal of these potentially dangerous substances has been quite successful in encouraging the public to partner with us in making a safer environment for everyone. It’s a win-win situation for our agency and the community we serve.”

For more information on prescription drug disposal or preventing prescription drug abuse, contact Brazoria County Community Coalition at coalitions@bacoda.org or visit www.bacoda.org.

Pearland Citizens Police Academy Elects Officers

The Pearland Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (PCPAAA) held its annual elections for officers and board members for the upcoming year on Monday (Nov. 17).

Bill Pyeatt, the current treasurer, will serve as the president in 2015. Cheryl Weaver, who was also recently appointed to the City of Pearland Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board, was elected to another term as First VP. Newcomer to the Board, Steve Broeder, will serve as Second VP. Pam McDonald, who is the current Second VP, will switch to Secretary. Current Board member and City of Pearland Planning & Zoning Committee member Daniel Tunstall was elected Treasurer.

Leo Foisner, Walter Pasciak and Bob Fawcett will take on their first terms as Board members and Linda Broeder will continue to serve on the Board.

Outgoing President Larry Berkowitz poses with Mayor Tom Reid at Class 39 graduation.

Outgoing President Larry Berkowitz poses with Mayor Tom Reid at Class 39 graduation.

Outgoing three-term President Larry Berkowitz was pleased with the outcome of the election. “We have great incoming officers and board members. I think we’ll see great things next year,” he said.

The audience enjoyed speaker Joe Johnson with the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol, who explained how the organization helps prevent and prosecute Medicare and other healthcare fraud.

The PCPAAA is comprised of “professional volunteers,” who are dedicated to community involvement and helping to make the City of Pearland a better and safer place to live. The organization’s mission is, “To assist and support the Pearland Police Department exclusively in developing and maintaining a positive relationship between the department and Pearland citizens,” according to the website.

The PCPAAA is currently selling tickets for a 10-gun raffle. They will be at Bass Pro Shops (1000 Bass Pro Dr.) on December 14 and 20. The drawing will be held on December 20 at 3 p.m. at Bass Pro.

This and the annual Pear Run, which will be held on May 9, 2015, are the two major fundraisers that the organization holds yearly.

Funds raised go toward assisting the Pearland Police Department purchase extra equipment that the city budget doesn’t cover. Past purchases include a T-Rex off-road vehicle, SWAT phones, K9’s, raincoats and a robot for firearms training.

Members of the PCPAAA also assist in SWAT, CIT and K9 training, along with patrolling the city for handicap parking violators. They are also called upon to assist with traffic control for city events. Look for them in the orange vests along the Hometown Christmas Parade route on December 6.

To become a member of the PCPAAA, an applicant must graduate from the 12-week Citizens Police Academy (CPA) class, which is held twice a year, from 7 – 9 p.m. on Thursday nights.

The Pearland CPA, “…is a free community-oriented policing program designed for the citizens of Pearland. The class is open to all residents that live or work in the Pearland area. Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years old, except an applicant who is 17 may attend with an adult family member. All applicants must pass a background investigation and complete an application,” according to the website.

Completing the class will not certify participants as licensed peace officers.

The next class will begin on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Applications are now being accepted online or by contacting Officer Daniel Hamminga at 281-997-4171 or dhamminga@pearlandtx.gov.

Online applications may be found at HERE.

For more information about the Senior Medicare Patrol, visit TexasSMP.org. To learn more about the PCPAAA, visit PCPAAA.com.

Be Safe This Holiday Shopping Season

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With the holiday shopping season about to start, car burglars and thieves will be taking advantage of it as well. They’ll be “banking” on you being distracted with your gift list!

Law enforcement will be out in full force throughout the area this holiday season looking for thieves wanting to take advantage of shoppers, and making sure shoppers are armed with safety tips.

In an effort to reduce your chances of being victimized by these “grinches,” please take the following precautions:

  • Do not carry large sums of cash, or a purse or wallet that can easily be grabbed. Large wallets that protrude out of the back pocket and handbags that cannot be secured are prime targets while you are shopping or walking to and from your vehicle.
  • Make sure that all valuables have been removed from your vehicle before leaving home.
  • Be mindful of your parking spot and park as close as possible to the doors. It is much safer to shop in the day time hours but if you cannot avoid being out at night, make sure you park in a well-lit, high-traffic area.
  • Lock your car and take your keys. The failure to do these two things just enhanced your chances of becoming a victim.
  • Walk in and out of the shopping center with other shoppers, and if you feel vulnerable at all, wait until someone is walking in or have a security guard escort you.
  • Do not take packages to your car and then return to shopping. Thieves watch the parking lot for this type of activity and target vehicles with valuables inside. Packages should be secured in the vehicle trunk only before leaving to go home or to another shopping center. You do not want to arrive at another shopping center and be seen hiding and arranging your packages.
  • When at a fueling station, do not leave your vehicle unlocked, not even while pumping gas. Thieves can gain access to a vehicle and snatch valuables inside in a matter of seconds. Children should never be left unattended.
  • When banking, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings when returning to the parking lot and watch to make sure you are not being followed. Thieves have followed banking patrons to their next destination which has resulted in both robberies of the person and burglaries of the vehicles.
  • At home, park your vehicle in your garage. This significantly protects your vehicle from thieves. It only takes a few minutes for a criminal to break into your vehicle and take valuables and/or equipment. Never leave your garage door opener inside your vehicle. By doing so, you give criminals access to your home.