This is the first post of a series about keeping your family and property safe this holiday season.
By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer
When Christmas shopping, you usually find yourself among enormous crowds at retail shops, malls, and grocery stores. These sizable gatherings also provide a perfect cover for those who are a little short on Christmas spirit — thieves.
If you shop online, you are equally susceptible to being targeted.
Don’t let the bad guys spoil your holiday season. By following these 10 simple tips, you reduce your chances of becoming a victim:
- Keep careful track of your bags and other packages. If you leave something behind, it could be stolen or discarded.
- Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies when taking mass transit: report any unattended packages to security or staff.
- Be sure not to buy more than you can carry. If your packages are making it hard for you to walk upright or see, ask a store employee to help you take them to your car.
- Check receipts to see whether your full credit card number appears. If a receipt has the entire number on it, take a pen and thoroughly scratch it out.
- Double check that you have your credit cards and checkbook after you pay for your items.
- Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Your computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. Visit bytecrime.org for free software downloads.
- Keep your personal information and passwords private and secure. Don’t respond to requests to verify your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses won’t contact you in this manner.
- Beware of bargains from unfamiliar online companies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the locked padlock icon or “https” in the URL address.
- Shop online companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.
Safe Exchange Zone
If you purchase an item through a website such as Craig’s List and need to exchange property in person with a stranger, we encourage you to use the designated exchange zone in the police department’s main parking lot at 2611 South Texas Ave. We record video of the area 24 hours a day.
Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.
About the Blogger
Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.
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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager
It’s no secret that College Station is one of the country’s fastest growing small cities. Our population has increased about 36 percent in the last decade.
Over 103,000 people now call College Station home — and more are on the way. Conservative estimates say we could add another 40,000 residents in the next 10 years, with the student populations at Texas A&M and Blinn College continuing to expand.
With that rapid growth comes a demand for adequate infrastructure and core services related to public safety and parks.
City staff has spent months studying the city’s immediate and long-range needs while consulting with residents and other stakeholder groups. The result is what we consider a responsible FY2016 budget that will help us keep pace with our growth and meet the increased demand for city services we expect in the coming years.
By Lt. Chuck Fleeger, CSPD Public Information Officer
Local law enforcement agencies, emergency medical service providers and local medical facilities have seen an influx of patients this week suffering from drug-related overdoses. This has resulted in the hospitalization of several individuals and may be related to at least one death.
Since Wednesday evening, about two dozen local cases have been reported that we believe involve the ingestion of illegal synthetic cannabinoids. These substances are commonly referred to as K2, Spice, Kush, synthetic marijuana and other terms. The exact compound being ingested can vary widely in potency and actual chemical makeup.
With freezing weather hitting town later today, we wanted to remind you of some of the problems freezing weather typically causes in our area. Previous cold spells we’ve had this winter caused significant damage to irrigation systems and exposed pipes, as well as power outages. In addition, runoff from sprinkler systems that hadn’t been turned off caused black ice in some areas and created hazardous driving conditions.
With as many as 40,000 new residents expected in the next two decades, College Station has a clear need to provide reliable fire and Emergency Medical Services protection to our growing community, and fulfilling that mission requires proactive planning and action. When it opens in late 2012, Fire Station No. 6 will provide responsible service and have a positive impact on citizens in north College Station for the next 50 years and beyond.