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Security Update

March 15, 2020-  Please see below for an update from Lt. Jeff Baxter regarding COVID-10

Hello all...

As we are all now in uncharted territory in dealing with this Covid-19 virus, I ask that you keep all first responders, and our medical personnel in your thoughts and prayers, as you know, we do not work from home.

As it relates to your APD Officers, who work off duty patrolling your neighborhood, we are still here each day, and I wanted to advise on a few items to share:

* Please spread the word to keep an eye out for your neighbors especially our elderly, check on them, and if there is some type of special concern or circumstance for a specific resident being checked on, please let me know.

* Don't let your guard down.. Crime has not stopped as a result of this virus.. keep all valuables, and anything in plain sight out of your vehicles. Never store unsecured guns in your car, and never keep a spare key or key fob in your car. Set your alarm, and lock your doors.

* With everyone at home, if you witness suspicious activity, don't start a group text, post to Facebook, Nextdoor etc. CALL 911 FIRST... With more eyes, and ears around, the hope is that criminals would be better detected, and caught, but that only happens when you call 911 first. Remember also, when observing suspicious activity, get physical and clothing descriptions, vehicle make and models, and tag numbers if possible. 

* In having more time at home, consider purchasing and installing a home security camera like a Ring door bell or other brand and type of home video surveillance camera. Add to your doorbell camera or install one for the first time. Also look at your outdoor lighting, flood lights etc. With extra time at home why not take some time to evaluate your home security.   

* Don't fall for Coronavirus Scams...

Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.

Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.

Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.        https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing  

We continue to work the neighborhood patrol, to care for our neighborhood residents, and in support of our families, as we also deal with hardships at home etc, so again, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and please feel free to share the above information with our resident members. 

Thank you for your support..

Lt. Jeff Baxter 


Spring Security Update-

Ladies and Gentlemen, believe it or not spring is just around the corner. The days will become both longer and warmer. Most of us will find excuses to plan a vacation, play more golf, visit a relative, etc. In short, many of us will find that we are away from our homes more often. Our absence is often just the opening that an unsavory character needs to take advantage of uncollected mail, an Amazon package left at the front door, an unlocked car, or even a window or door to our homes left unlocked. 

We can all go a long way to preventing this by alerting Lieutenant Jeff Baxter’s group to pick up our mail and packages and check the premises while we are away. Turning on your alarm system, even if you are just running an errand, is also a good thing. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, bad guys still do bad things. Stealing mail or taking a package off your doorstep takes only seconds to accomplish. Unless there is an officer parked at the end of your driveway, a determined thief is hard to stop.  

However, technology is coming to our rescue.  With the advent of inexpensive home security cameras, we are seeing a reduction in crime. When crime does occur, the cameras make arrest of the individuals more likely. The majority of these cameras are motion-activated. A person approaching a home will likely see a light come on indicating that they are being filmed. We have documented evidence of potential thieves turning away from a home once they know they are being filmed. We also have documented evidence of thieves filmed in the act of a crime. We have been able to pass these pictures onto Jeff Baxter and the Atlanta Police Department resulting in the arrest and conviction of the individuals. 

There are multiple manufactures of the devices- RING, NEST and ARLO are among them. They range from hard-wired systems to wireless battery-operated ones. Many of them allow you to speak to and hear a person at your door even if you are sitting on the beach. The phone apps allow you to be notified each time the camera is activated by motion in real time.  The cost ranges between $150 - $500. 

Mary and I recently installed a RING camera at the front door. The wireless, rechargeable lithium batteries will run for six months before a recharge. Downloading the app on our phone took about five minutes and mounting the camera to the front wall maybe another ten.  So for $225 and 15 minutes, we were all set. 

Spring is here- help yourself and your neighbors by following some of these ideas and let’s all have a safe and happy year.   

Tom Watson / Security Coordinator /  PHWCA 

Peachtree Heights West Civic Association    

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