Crime Prevention tips by former Milwaukee Police Captain Glenn Frankovis
1: There is a Facebook Page called Milwaukee County Crime, Fire and Police News published daily by John Schneider which lists many of the daily major crimes in Milwaukee to which Officers have been dispatched. Anybody who is interested in what crimes are happening and where (with dates and times of the offenses) should request to be added to this page. It is EYE OPENING! Some of the commenters are quite knowledgeable as to police procedures too.
2: Pay attention to news reports AND if you read the posts I referred to above that identify locations where crimes are occurring. Avoid those locations that seem to continually show up in these reports if at all possible. If you must go into these areas be aware of what’s going on around you. It’s called “Situational Awareness” – sometimes referred to as “keep your head on a swivel”. Criminals are looking for easy prey – people who seem completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. If you act like you are aware of what’s going on around you, and exhibit a confident presence, a criminal may be less likely to approach you. Understand though that there is much to the saying, “If you put your head in the lion’s mouth don’t be surprised when he bites it off.” If you understand how wolves and sharks hunt their prey you will be able to better understand how criminals hunt their prey.
Gas Stations; Parking Lots (Mall; Grocery Store; etc.)
A). Carry your car key alarm in your hand if you’re near your car and use the alarm to get attention if approached by someone you believe is a possible threat to you. You can also carry some other device that makes a loud noise and will draw attention to you. That attention may be enough to make the threatening person run away.
B). This is an individual choice that you must make for yourself, but applying for a license to carry a concealed weapon (handgun, knife, etc.) is also an alternative. Just remember, IF YOU ARE GOING TO CARRY A GUN YOU MUST HAVE THE MINDSET TO USE IT IF YOUR LIFE IS THREATENED! IT IS NOT A BOOGEYMAN TO BE USED JUST TO SCARE SOMEONE! YOU MUST BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOUR ADVERSARY DOESN’T SCARE EASILY! There is a process for applying for a Concealed Carry Permit that requires a 4 hour course of training. ASK QUESTIONS!
C). Ladies, when grocery shopping DON’T LEAVE YOUR PURSE UNATTENDED IN YOUR CART! AND BE VIGILANT WHEN TAKING YOUR GROCERIES OR OTHER ITEMS FROM THE STORE TO YOUR CAR! IF SOMETHING DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT TO YOU, IT PROBABLY ISN’T. GO BACK TO THE STORE AND TELL THE MANAGER! Thugs are looking to rob people of their personal belongings and/or their cars in parking lots. They will likely be in an auto nearby that they’ve already stolen too. The fact that you may be in a MALL parking lot doesn’t make you any safer either. BE AWARE WHEREVER YOU ARE!
3: Call the Police whenever you see or hear something suspicious. Don’t consider these things too small or unimportant, and don’t be worried about being a “pest” by calling the Police. The smallest thing can be significant.
A: Don’t let anyone unexpected into your house; Don’t go outside with anyone who shows up at your door unexpectedly; If someone comes to your door claiming to be from a Department/agency saying they need to check something, call that Department/agency FIRST to verify that they sent someone. DO NOT TRUST ANYONE YOU DON’T KNOW!
4: Make a personal record of any calls to the Police AND document anything, including the date and time, that you called about – descriptions of individuals, cars, etc. – ANYTHING that can be used to refresh your recollection of the reason you called in the event you are asked about it at a later time.
5: IF you do not get the response from the Police that you feel you should have received, call the District Captain’s Office and ask to speak directly with the Captain or have him call you back if it’s off hours or he’s not otherwise in his Office. (Milwaukee Police Districts are understaffed, and crime in Milwaukee is high which means Officers may not be available to respond rapidly to your call, but that does not mean your call is not important. Do not be discouraged!!! That is WHY you should call the District Captain.)
6: Call your elected representatives (alderman and Mayor). Make it clear to them that you want good Police response to your calls and something done about the problems you are reporting. They may attempt to blow you off with smooth talk. DO NOT ACCEPT THAT!!! You must remind them that your taxes include police protection and you expect that when you are reporting problems in your neighborhood or elsewhere. Keep after them too!!!
7: IF you are not getting the kind of response from the Police department or your elected representatives that you deserve, contact the news media. It works for those who want to defund the Police – MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!!!
8: When the Police are doing the job you want them to do LET THEM KNOW! Call the District Captain; Call the Police Chief; Call your elected representatives – aldermen and Mayor; Call the media. Write letters to these people too. Use that documentation you’ve been keeping in your calls and letters to provide examples of why you are happy – or unhappy.
Glenn Frankovis is a retired Milwaukee Police Department Detective. He has an interest in sharing the knowledge and skills he learned during his time in law enforcement and have written a book detailing a policing strategy called Area Saturation Patrol (ASP) which describes the ASP operation; its development; and success in fighting crime. His website is www.glenndfrankovis.com