Wednesday, Jan 22 2014 06:00 AM

Guest Commentary: Crime is down in Tehachapi, let's keep it that way!

As the newly hired Crime Prevention Officer for the Tehachapi Police Department, I'd like to introduce myself to the community. My name is Teri Cryer and I am your community resource for education on crime prevention, neighborhood watch programs, community outreach programs and much more. I will be writing a monthly article on relevant crime prevention topics that affect our city.

Like a lot of small cities, Tehachapi is growing, and with that is experiencing some changes, some good, some not so good. One of the Tehachapi Police Department's reactions to the "not so good" has been the appointment of a Crime Prevention Officer. I was fortunate enough to be the person selected to take on this unique position for the department. My duties are varied, but one of the most important is to help educate our community and help raise awareness.

I have both read and heard that some of our citizens are concerned about "What's happening to our town." The fact is that crime has always been present, but with the boom in social media, the current level of awareness would certainly make it seem like we have more crime. In fact our 2013 crime trend stats are actually down in most instances. However, that being said, there is always more that can be done to see a continued decline in crime stats, assuring that Tehachapi continues to be a productive and safe community to live in.

Crime prevention is in essence, anticipating and recognizing a crime risk or trend and taking the initiative to reduce or eliminate it all together. Your Tehachapi Police Department believes that Community Policing is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Departments who police with this vision recognize that the police cannot effectively deal with all of the community's issues alone and that they must partner with others who share a mutual responsibility for resolving problems. "Community Policing" emphasizes citizen interaction and participation. This is where you, my fellow Tehachapians come in.

Becoming more "aware" and interactive in helping resolve our community's issues can be as easy as "Liking" your Tehachapi Police Department's brand new Facebook page and following some of the crime prevention tips mentioned there. It's also a great way to stay connected with all the new programs being created and to see how our officers, volunteers and police explorers are involved. Another important and vital way to help fight crime is to actively be aware of what is occurring around you. If you see something that seems suspicious, either around town or in your neighborhood, call dispatch immediately at 661-821-3239 with a detailed description including who, what, where and when so an officer can respond and investigate. If it is a life threatening emergency, always call 911. Don't worry about your suspicion being unfounded. As the old expression goes, "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Partner with us to put criminals on notice that Tehachapi is not the place for them or their illegal activities!

If you would like to get in touch with me, you can contact me via email at TCryer@Tehachapipd.com, or at my desk at (661)822-2222 ext 117.

TERI CRYER is the Tehachapi Police Department's community resource for education on crime prevention, neighborhood watch programs, community outreach programs and much more.

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