VIDEO SPECIAL: Sheriff Ivey Offers Holiday Safety Tips
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // December 9, 2013
DONT LET CRIMINALS Take Advantage of you
ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey comes to you from Cocoa Village to discuss safe practices to exercise while out shopping the holiday season.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — As we fast approach the Christmas holiday season, I would like to focus our crime prevention message on ways to protect ourselves when we travel, our credit cards when we shop, and our families when we are out and about at the many different activities we attend.
Let’s first talk about protecting our home when we are away traveling and visiting with family or friends.
Regardless, if you are going to be gone for days or hours, its important to not let potential criminals know that you are not at your home and even more importantly, where they can find you.
DONT LET POTENTIAL CRIMINALS KNOW YOUR LOCATION
The rule of thumb is very simple: if I know where you are, I know where you are not!
For that very reason please remember the following suggestions when going on vacation or away from your home for any reason:
• Never tell anyone other than trusted family, friends or neighbors when you are going out of town.
• If you call to stop your newspaper delivery or mail, you have just alerted everyone who works at the Post Office and newspaper that your home is going to be unoccupied during the specified dates.
• That information may be inadvertently shared with someone who decides to burglarize your home while you are away.
• A safe alternative is to have a family member or trusted neighbor collect your newspaper and/or mail to keep them from piling up.
• It’s always a good idea to leave information where you can be contacted in case of an emergency with a neighbor who can keep watch over your house.
• When away for extended periods of time, try to leave your house with the appearance that you are still there. For example ask a trusted neighbor to use your garbage can on trash pick-up day so that it appears you are at home as normal.
• Use automatic timers to rotate several lights, radio and television rather than leaving a single light on in the house. Select different rooms in the house to have the lights turn on and off at various times.
• Don’t close all of your blinds and drapes as that not only looks different than normal, but also gives concealment to a burglar if they were to get inside your home.
• Have the neighbor park their car in your driveway.
USE CAUTION IN USING SOCIAL MEDIA
The last thing we will discuss this week is the importance of never announcing on Facebook or other forms of social media that you are going to be away from home for any period of time.
While social media is a great way to share exciting information with your friends, it can also be used by criminals to track your whereabouts.
Here are some safety measures to keep in mind when using Facebook during the holidays:
• Never check in at locations while out and about
“Know that sometimes Crime Prevention methods can be time consuming and restrictive, but our overall goal is to protect you and your family so that you can have the most enjoyable holiday possible.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
• Never announce on FB that you are going on vacation or leaving your home
• Never post FB photos of yourself at parties or while shopping
• Never post photos of gifts such as jewelry or other expensive items
• Never post photos of yourself at vacation destination places (If you want to post the photos, do it when you return home with a caption that says “Had a great time on vacation but glad to be back home.”)
• Before you post anything on social media, please ask yourself this question: Does this post alert anyone to where I am so they could target me if they wanted to do me harm?
I know that sometimes crime prevention methods can be time consuming and restrictive, but our overall goal is to protect you and your family so that you can have the most enjoyable holiday possible.
The crime prevention steps you take to today to protect yourself and your family can easily be the difference between having a great holiday season or being the victim of a crime.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft.
That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases.
Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.