Over 70 Katy residents recently gathered to discuss ways of increasing security in Lake Forest of Kelliwood. The committee’s goal was to get neighbors talking with one another and sharing ideas about how to increase safety, both as individual homeowners and as a community.
After falling victim to six recent burglaries, residents set up a security committee to discuss enhanced security measures. Michelle Sturdevant, one of the organizers and also one of the six burglarized, shares that seeking privacy in a neighborhood can translate to not knowing your neighbors and becoming vulnerable as a community to crime. “According to the National Sheriff’s Association, your neighbors – not the police – will be the first responders to nearly 80% of the crimes happening, so getting to know your neighbor is a good idea,” she says.
The first thing the committee did was set up a Yahoo news group allowing residents to communicate with each other in a safe place. The group is private to Lake Forest residents only, and residents are encouraged to report crime and other suspicious activity that may lead to a crime in an effort to keep all informed about potential dangers. The site also has a number of files residents can download, like security recommendations, the Harris County Sheriff’s vacation form.
The committee encourages homeowners to set their security alarms, lock their doors, install good locks on entry doors, install glass breakage sensors and motion detectors inside, keep outdoor lights on late at night, install energy-saving flood lights and security cameras, and add additional film on windows making them more difficult to break. The group also discussed how to keep a safe refuge in your home, locking up firearms, and notifying the alarm company if you have firearms in your home.
Sturdevant also encouraged residents in attendance to be vigilant of unusual activity and be a good neighbor. “If you see trash cans or newspapers outside of neighbor’s homes, put the items away,” she shares. “If you see anything out of the ordinary, confirm with neighbors making sure they authorized it. Verify if a worker or other person is sitting in their car or truck or loitering around a house for an extended period of time. If your dog is barking and the circumstances seem suspicious, call the police. Get to know your immediate neighbors and what cars they drive. And above all, call 911 if you see any suspicious activity.”
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