December 2011

Greetings SAFE Friends & Supporters,

In This Issue
Holiday Safety Tips
Neighborhood Watch & NEN AWards
SF Heroes – Emergency Preparedness App
Potrero Terrace Workshops

Lunar New Year

Save the Date: SAFE’s Lunar New Year Public Safety Campaign will take place on January 12th & 13th, 2012.  Join us and the SFPD as we prepare for the Year of the Dragon and do outreach to merchants and residents throughout the city.

The Public Safety Press Conference on January 12th will be held in Chinatown; and January 13th will be held in the Taraval Police District. You can volunteer with SAFE and assemble crime prevention packets ahead of time, or help us distribute materials on those days.

You can help to create a SAFE Lunar New Year!

Contact David Chan at (415) 553-1985 or david@sfsafe.org.

 

Crime Alerts

Utility Burglars – The SFPD has recently become aware of incidents in which burglars are posing as Utility Workers.  CLICK HERE for the Public Safety Advisory and Safety Tips.

Cell Phone Theft – Please be aware of your surroundings while in public or on the bus, and limit the use of your cell phone.  Thieves are basically just grabbing the cell phones from the victims and taking off!

Organize a Neighborhood Watch Holiday Party

Are you looking for an idea to get to know your neighbors, to revitalize your Neighborhood Watch group, or to host your regular meeting?  As many SAFE groups will tell you, a Holiday Party is a great way to do all of the above.

A social event will allow everyone to be open and relaxed and not feel like they have to “get down to business”.  Many SAFE Neighborhood Watch groups have Holiday parties in order to refresh members’ participation, and to get to know their neighbors on a more personal level.

What are you waiting for?  A Holiday party is fun and easy.

NERT Trainings

Attend a FREE NERT Training!  Learn how to be prepared in an emergency or natural disaster.

Visit the NERT Website for upcoming trainings in your neighborhood.

SAFE & Social Networking

Join us:

If you are a SAFE Block Captain, be sure to login to the SAFE website and start a discussion forum.

It’s a great way to connect with other Block Captains in your District, neighborhood or citywide.

Happy Holidays!

Last month we listed some safety tips to remember while doing your holiday shopping. Now we will highlight a few important tips on preventing crimes that usually happen more frequently during the holiday season.

 

Personal Safety
While out shopping or enjoying the Holiday festivities, remember to stay aware of your surroundings. Thieves may take advantage of those carrying shopping bags or talking on cell phones.
Using your cell phone in public may lessen your ability to notice suspicious activities.
If you are out at night, plan your itinerary. Know the bus schedule.  Travel in pairs if possible.
Carry minimal amounts of cash and credit cards.

Home Burglary Prevention

Do not advertise that you will be out of town…  Do not post on Facebook or Twitter.

Have newspaper, mail and deliveries held or picked up by someone you trust.
Gifts and valuables should be kept out of sight and away from windows.
Put timers on different lights throughout the interior and exterior of the house if you are away on vacation.
Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your house.
Stop newspaper and mail deliveries.
Use your alarm system if you have one.
Consider using lights that are on timers.

Shopping Online with your Credit Card
Shop only at secure websites.
Do not respond to emails asking you for personal or credit card information.
Check your credit card and bank statements regularly and closely for fraudulent use.

Prevent Pick-Pocketing and Identity Theft

Be Alert! Your purse or wallet may be a target for crime in crowded shopping areas, bus stops, and on buses. Be wary of those too close to you or creating distractions.

Only carry the credit cards or cash that you need.
If taking transit, keep your Fast Pass separate from your purse or wallet, so as not to display your valuables.

Merchant Robbery Prevention
Stores can become more of a target of shoplifting, “smash & grabs” or robberies during the Holidays.
Have more than one employee open and close your business.
Train employees on recognizing suspicious behavior, and how to call the police.

SAFE offers services that can help prevent crime: Start a Neighborhood Watch or Business Watch Group; schedule a Residential or Business Security Survey; Plan a Personal Safety Presentation by SAFE; schedule a Robbery or Loss Prevention Training for your business.
Safety Tips

For more information, visit SAFE’s website at www.sfsafe.org or call (415) 553-1984.
Tiffany/Duncan Neighborhood Watch Wins 2011 NEN Award

SAFE congratulates the Tiffany Avenue – Duncan Street SAFE Neighborhood Watch Group for receiving the 2011 NEN Award as San Francisco’s Most Outstanding Neighborhood Watch.

Established only two years ago, the Tiffany–Duncan Neighborhood Watch group accomplished quite a lot. The residents created a unique greening project on a largely barren block by setting up parklets along the business district on 29th Street. They also became skilled at effective problem solving with the businesses, city departments and the police in order to address intractable problems of traffic flow and design, as well as police response and reduction of crime.

Most significant is this group’s program to extend positive influence into Bernal Heights and the Excelsior (well beyond its own two blocks) by hosting a Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema and Film Festival and continuing greening efforts to inspire and encourage more SAFE Neighborhood Watch groups in those areas.

This is an example of what a SAFE Neighborhood Watch can do in the best tradition  to bring unique Community Policing connections and efforts to expanding areas in San Francisco.

Start your own Neighborhood Watch Group! You too can achieve positive changes in your neighborhood!

SF Heroes Emergency Preparedness App

On October 14th, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SF DEM) launched its first smart phone application dedicated to promoting community preparedness and resilience. SF Heroes is an iPhone and soon to be Android application that leverages social reward mechanisms to educate and motivate public emergency and disaster preparedness.  The core message of SF Heroes is that emergency preparedness knowledge puts us in a position of strength if confronted with an emergency situation—so we are heroes, not victims.

“In the rising tide of social media, the SF Heroes mobile application uses technology to enhance the level of preparedness of all San Franciscans,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “SF Heroes is a creative emergency preparedness and planning tool that provides direct access to City resources and vital information.” Because SF Heroes connects with Facebook, Twitter and other social channels, the application inspires people to take steps to prepare – such as to gather emergency supplies or create emergency contact lists on their mobile devices – by tying rewards and social incentives to meaningful real-life activities.

The app also encourages San Franciscans to take steps that link them to emergency preparedness and support the City’s overall resilience.  For example, one can earn points for following SF SAFE on facebook or attending a neighborhood watch meeting.

There are seven different SF Heroes modules that the public can interact and have fun with. They include an evergreen emergency services map, location and event check-ins, social connections, educational quizzes, personal contacts, motivational check lists, and a leaderboard to compare achievements with friends. Family, friends and neighbors compete via social channels and earn badges that they can display or highlight as an accomplishment.

The app is free and available in the iTunes store. Android smart phone users can look forward to downloading the app this Spring. For more information about SF Heroes, contact Kristin Hogan with SF DEM at Kristin.hogan@sfgov.org.
Community Organizing Workshops at Potrero Terrace and Annex Housing Sites

Congratulations to the participants in SAFE’s Community Organizing workshop series held at Potrero Terrace, where we spent ten weeks discussing Community Organizing, Community Policing, and Restorative Justice.  These workshops support the residents as they aim to reduce crime and violence in their community. Potrero Terrace and Annex residents continue to work together to build better communication and to access much needed resources for the community. Thanks to BRIDGE Housing Corporation for their contribution to the program.

So that we may continue to support residents in their endeavors, we are launching another workshop series focusing on leadership. The Community Leadership series encourages participants to consider their personal values as tools for community building, organizing and leadership. Participants will go through the process of evaluating their personal values, learning to recognize the values of others, and using that to set and achieve goals while maintaining strong group cohesion. Along the way we will share the basic tools of organizing such as meeting facilitation and budgeting, and explore how other great community leaders such as Martin Luther King used and demonstrated the skills we are sharing.

SAFE is excited to continue our work with the residents of Potrero Terrace and Annex, and we look forward to more of their accomplishments.  For more information, contact Troy Sanders at SAFE: troy@sfsafe.org.

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SAFE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. You can help us to provide essential crime prevention and public safety services by making a tax-deductible donation, either by check or clicking on the JustGive link below. Please check out our website, www.sfsafe.org for updates and information! Thank you for helping us to create safer neighborhoods!

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