Los Angeles – Children are our most precious resource. Unfortunately, because of their vulnerability, children are popular targets for molesters, drug dealers, and other predatory criminals. As a result, parents have teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Department, teachers and other professionals to focus on child crime prevention measures. By working with children and teaching them crime prevention measures, we can substantially reduce the chances of child victimization.
An important tool for teaching children personal security is reinforcing their trust in the adults who care for them, e.g., parents, police and teachers. To further lessen the chances of children becoming victims, the following objectives should be stressed:
Reassurance: Inform your children they can be safer if they form good habits and follow some simple rules. One good rule for children to remember is: never go anywhere with anyone without their parents’ permission;
Openness: Encourage your children to confide in you, even if the subject feels uncomfortable;
Strangers: Teach your children the difference between good strangers and bad strangers. Good strangers are police officers, teachers and firefighters;
Secrets: Discourage your children from keeping bad secrets. A bad secret is when an adult tells a child to keep information from the child’s parents or guardian. An example would be an adult offering a child candy to get into his or her car and then telling the child not to tell anyone; and
Safe House Community Program: Show your children the location of the safe houses in your neighborhood and how to recognize the Safe House Placards. Safe House locations can be found through your local Los Angeles Unified School District or your local Los Angeles Community Police Station.
Commander Sharon Papa, Department spokesperson, states, "We have attempted to establish a crime prevention attitude for parents and children. The importance of practicing a crime prevention attitude cannot be stressed enough! If properly prepared, your children will automatically take the correct crime prevention action in a dangerous situation. It is important to practice with your children and to encourage a crime prevention attitude in their daily lives."
For additional information or obtain a copy of crime prevention circulars, contact the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit, at 213-485-3143, or visit "Building Safer Communities."