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East Orange Police Drug Abuse Resistance Education

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East Orange Police Community Policing

Police Line - D.A.R.E. Information Ahead


D.A.R.E.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., is a drug abuse prevention education program designed to equip elementary school children with knowledge about drug abuse, the consequences of drug abuse, and skills for resisting peer pressure to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

D.A.R.E. uses uniformed law enforcement officers to teach a formal curriculum to students in a classroom setting. The East Orange  Police Department began teaching the program in 1992. Today, the East Orange  D.A.R.E. program teaches students in 15 public and D.A.R.E. program targets every 5th grader and prepares them for entering junior high school, where pressures to use drugs and alcohol will most likely occur.

D.A.R.E. was originally developed in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department in conjunction with the United School district. Based on the premise that prevention is the only long-term answer to drug abuse, the program grew to include all 50 states and many countries abroad.

The D.A.R.E. Program is designed to avoid scare tactics.  It relies on accurate information accurate information and an upbeat approach
D.A.R.E. Officers visit with students in the classroom and provide a positive role model for our youth.
The D.A.R.E. Program is a constructive and highly  visible method of community policing that has great long term benefits. Until drug abuse is a thing of the past, D.A.R.E. will continue to be in the forefront of prevention measures.

THE D.A.R.E. DIFFERENCE

D.A.R.E. has become the premiere substance abuse program in the world today. D.A.R.E.'s impact on reducing substance abuse among young people is well documented both in terms of quantitative research studies verifying D.A.R.E.'s successes and in terms of real-life experiences of D.A.R.E. students. More than 20 studies from around the country cite D.A.R.E. as an excellent substance abuse prevention program. 

Many of these studies clearly demonstrate D.A.R.E.'s effectiveness in preventing drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. A 1993 Gallup survey of D.A.R.E. graduates aged 11-18 revealed that 93% have never tried drugs, 75% have never tried a cigarette, and 70% have never tried alcohol. More than 90% of D.A.R.E. graduates surveyed said they believe D.A.R.E. has helped them avoid drugs and alcohol, increase their self- confidence and deal effectively with peer pressure.

 D.A.R.E. has been praised by presidential administrations, governors, members of congress, and state legislators. Since 1988, one day each year has been declared National D.A.R.E. Day by Presidential Proclamation. State legislatures have joined with the President and Congress by proclaiming D.A.R.E. Day within their respective states. The D.A.R.E. program has proven so successful that it is now taught in communities in all 50 states, United States' territories and possessions, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world. D.A.R.E. has also been adopted by 52 other nations including Colombia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Hungary, England, the Philippine Islands and many of the Caribbean Island nations. 

Some interesting facts: With the money spent incarcerating one inmate, D.A.R.E. can educate over 3,300 children per year. In the time it takes to read this sentence, we've spent $1.20 for an inmate to sit in his prison cell. Drugs in the workplace cost American industry an estimated $250 billion per year. Every five minutes, an American smokes cocaine. In those same five minutes, D.A.R.E. has educated over 235 students about the dangers of illegal drugs.

D.A.R.E. CURRICULUM

D.A.R.E.'s innovative and highly effective curriculum was developed by health education specialists. This research-based curriculum is taught by police officers whose training and experience give them the background needed to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young people about drugs and crime. Prior to entering the D.A.R.E. program, carefully selected officers undergo 80 hours of intensive training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. Forty hours of additional training are provided to experienced D.A.R.E. instructors to equip them to teach the middle and high school curriculum. 

The D.A.R.E. program includes four main curricula: K-4 Visitation D.A.R.E. officers visit the kindergarten through 4th grade classes at the schools. These visits focus on child safety and prevention issues. Students are alerted to the potential dangers in the misuse of medicine and other substances. Four D.A.R.E. sessions are held for grades K-2 and five sessions are held in 3rd and 4th grades, laying the groundwork for the rest of the program.

D.A.R.E. 5th/6th Grade Program

The 5th/6th grade curriculum is delivered by a D.A.R.E. officer and includes one lesson per week for 17 consecutive weeks. The D.A.R.E. Program requires that a certified teacher be present to help supplement classroom activities. A wide range of teaching techniques is used, including question and answer, group discussion, role-play, and workbook exercises. The 5th/6th grade curriculum provides students with the skills they will need to resist peer pressure to use drugs and join gangs in their adolescent years. Junior High School These 10 lessons are a follow-up to the previous 17 lessons. They reinforce and build upon the skills the students learned in elementary school. Additional skills are taught regarding anger management, violence avoidance and dealing with gangs and gang violence. Equal emphasis is placed on helping students to recognize and cope with feelings of anger without causing harm to themselves or others and without resorting to violence or the use of alcohol and drugs. 

D.A.R.E. HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM

The D.A.R.E. high school curriculum takes previously learned values and experiences and applies them to real life situations, teaching young adults the value of staying drug-free. It also reinforces the skills students need to enable them (1) to act in their own best interest when facing high-risk, low-gain choices and (2) to resist peer pressure and other influences in making their personal choices. Six of the lessons are taught by the D.A.R.E. officer and three follow- up lessons are taught by the regular classroom teacher. 

D.A.R.E. PARENT PROGRAM

The D.A.R.E. Parent Program is designed to stimulate interest in the community and to motivate families to take a more active role in the prevention of substance abuse and community violence. The content of the sessions provides participants with the opportunity to become more involved, as well as to give them access to community resources. The program consists of five sessions, held in the evening or at the parent's workplace during lunch conducted by a certified D.A.R.E. officer.

COPS AND KIDS

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3 page Cops n' Kids Coloring Book
(PDF 162 kb)

20 page Mc Gruff Crime Prevention Coloring/Reading book
(PDF 590 kb)

 

 

Internet Safety

E.O.P.D. Ten Tips For Parents For Safe Online Chatting

1) Position the computer in your main living space and make sure the monitor faces OUTWARD into the room so there is no secrecy. This is the single MOST valuable thing you can do for your child's health and safety online.

2) Work as a team to set your boundaries. Discuss with your child exactly what is OK and what is not OK regarding what kind of Web sites are appropriate for them to visit, which chat rooms to visit and what kinds of things to talk about there. Set logical consequences for when your child disregards your rules (like grounded from the Internet for 1 week), but do NOT threaten to ban the Internet forever.East Orange Police Wants Your Kids To Be Protected OnLine

3) Stress to your child that they need to tell you if they get any weird or upsetting messages while chatting, and that you will not be angry with them nor will you ban the Internet as a result. Make it clear to the child that you understand that the child cannot control what other people say to him or her and that they are not to blame if this happens.

4) Set strict time limits for Internet chat use and enforce them. Internet addiction is a real thing! 

5) Make it clear to your child that people in chat rooms are ALWAYS strangers, no matter how often they chat to them, and no matter how well they think they know them, and that while they may be good or bad people, they are still strangers. Your child should therefore not always believe everything people say in chat rooms.

6) Make sure your child understands that they are never to tell a person online their real name, their school, their phone number or where they live.

7) Do not permit your child to be left alone in cyberspace for long periods of time - this is when they are most vulnerable. Make sure that their chat time occurs when YOU are around in the house so that you can check in on them regularly.

8) Be sure to stress to your child that they are to behave politely and respectfully at all times while chatting online with strangers or sending email to friends.

9) Don't panic! No one can harm your child through the Internet as long as your child follows your rules.

10) Take an active interest in your child's activity online. Do NOT use the Internet as a babysitter! Learn to surf the Web and chat online yourself so you understand what it is that your child is doing. If you don't know how to chat online, ask your child to teach you! Click here for Investigating Crimes Against Children

East Orange Police On-Line Caution Message

What Should You Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Communicating With A Sexual Predator On-line?

  • Consider talking openly with your child about your suspicions. Tell them about the dangers of computer-sex offenders.

  • Review what is on your child's computer. If you don't know how, ask a friend, coworker, relative, or other knowledgeable person. Pornography or any kind of sexual communication can be a warning sign.

  • Use the Caller ID service to determine who is calling your child. Most telephone companies that offer Caller ID also offer a service that allows you to block your number from appearing on someone else's Caller ID. Telephone companies also offer an additional service feature that rejects incoming calls that you block. This rejection feature prevents computer-sex offenders or anyone else from calling your home anonymously.

  • Devices can be purchased that show telephone numbers that have been dialed from your home phone. Additionally, the last number called from your home phone can be retrieved provided that the telephone is equipped with a redial feature. You will also need a telephone pager to complete this retrieval.

  • This is done using a numeric-display pager and another phone that is on the same line as the first phone with the redial feature. Using the two phones and the pager, a call is placed from the second phone to the pager. When the paging terminal beeps for you to enter a telephone number, you press the redial button on the first (or suspect) phone. The last number called from that phone will then be displayed on the pager.

  • Monitor your child's access to all types of live electronic communications (i.e., chat rooms, instant messages, Internet Relay Chat, etc.), and monitor your child's e-mail. Computer-sex offenders almost always meet potential victims via chat rooms. After meeting a child on-line, they will continue to communicate electronically often via e-mail.

    What Are Signs That Your Child Might Be At Risk On-line?

    Your child spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at night.

    Most children that fall victim to computer-sex offenders spend large amounts of time on-line, particularly in chat rooms. They may go on-line after dinner and on the weekends. They may be latchkey kids whose parents have told them to stay at home after school. They go on-line to chat with friends, make new friends, pass time, and sometimes look for sexually explicit information. While much of the knowledge and experience gained may be valuable, parents should consider monitoring the amount of time spent on-line.

    Children on-line are at the greatest risk during the evening hours. While offenders are on-line around the clock, most work during the day and spend their evenings on-line trying to locate and lure children or seeking pornography.

    You find pornography on your child's computer.

    Pornography is often used in the sexual victimization of children. Sex offenders often supply their potential victims with pornography as a means of opening sexual discussions and for seduction. Child pornography may be used to show the child victim that sex between children and adults is "normal." Parents should be conscious of the fact that a child may hide the pornographic files on diskettes from them. This may be especially true if the computer is used by other family members.

    Your child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize.East Orange Police Warning About Telephone Calls

    While talking to a child victim on-line is a thrill for a computer-sex offender, it can be very cumbersome. Most want to talk to the children on the telephone. They often engage in "phone sex" with the children and often seek to set up an actual meeting for real sex.

    While a child may be hesitant to give out his/her home phone number, the computer-sex offenders will give out theirs. With Caller ID, they can readily find out the child's phone number. Some computer-sex offenders have even obtained toll-free 800 numbers, so that their potential victims can call them without their parents finding out. Others will tell the child to call collect. Both of these methods result in the computer-sex offender being able to find out the child's phone number.

    Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don't know.

    As part of the seduction process, it is common for offenders to send letters, photographs, and all manner of gifts to their potential victims. Computer-sex offenders have even sent plane tickets in order for the child to travel across the country to meet them.

    Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.

    A child looking at pornographic images or having sexually explicit conversations does not want you to see it on the screen.

    Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.

    Computer-sex offenders will work very hard at driving a wedge between a child and their family or at exploiting their relationship. They will accentuate any minor problems at home that the child might have. Children may also become withdrawn after sexual victimization.

    Your child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else.

    Even if you don't subscribe to an on-line service or Internet service, your child may meet an offender while on-line at a friend's house or the library. Most computers come preloaded with on-line and/or Internet software. Computer-sex offenders will sometimes provide potential victims with a computer account for communications with them.

    What Can You Do To Minimize The Chances Of An On-line Exploiter Victimizing Your Child?

    • Communicate, and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger.

    • Spend time with your children on-line. Have them teach you about their favorite on-line destinations.

    • Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom. It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member of the household.

    • Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex offenders. Use of chat rooms, in particular, should be heavily monitored. While parents should utilize these mechanisms, they should not totally rely on them.

    • Always maintain access to your child's on-line account and randomly check his/her e-mail. Be aware that your child could be contacted through the U.S. Mail. Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.

    • Teach your child the responsible use of the resources on-line. There is much more to the on-line experience than chat rooms.

    • Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child's school, the public library, and at the homes of your child's friends. These are all places, outside your normal supervision, where your child could encounter an on-line predator.

    • Understand, even if your child was a willing participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and is the victim. The offender always bears the complete responsibility for his or her actions.

    • Instruct your children:

      • to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met on- line;

      • to never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet or on-line service to people they do not personally know;

      • to never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number;

      • to never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images;

      • to never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing;

      • that whatever they are told on-line may or may not be true.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    My child has received an e-mail advertising for a pornographic website, what should I do?

    Generally, advertising for an adult, pornographic website that is sent to an e-mail address does not violate federal law or the current laws of most states. In some states it may be a violation of law if the sender knows the recipient is under the age of 18. Such advertising can be reported to your service provider and, if known, the service provider of the originator. It can also be reported to your state and federal legislators, so they can be made aware of the extent of the problem.

    Is any service safer than the others?

    Sex offenders have contacted children via most of the major on-line services and the Internet. The most important factors in keeping your child safe on-line are the utilization of appropriate blocking software and/or parental controls, along with open, honest discussions with your child, monitoring his/her on-line activity, and following the tips in this pamphlet.

    Should I just forbid my child from going on-line?

    There are dangers in every part of our society. By educating your children to these dangers and taking appropriate steps to protect them, they can benefit from the wealth of information now available on-line.

    Chat Rooms:

    Many adults can feel intimidated in using the Internet and are baffled by some of the terms and technology, especially about Internet Chat. While it is true that many children take to the Internet quicker than adults, children still need parental advice and protection. It is vital that you understand the issues and the simple safety steps you can take to help keep children safe. Don't put it off ! You don't need to know everything about the Internet and all the technical details - after all you can teach your children the importance of wearing a seat belt in a car without understanding how the car engine works!

    What is Internet Chat Rooms

    A teenage Internet chat room is like a school playground with lots of kids talking to each other in groups or just one-to-one chatting about last night's football match, answers to homework, or the latest fashion etc. However, unlike a physical playground, the chatting takes place with participants linked to the same computer (or server) and allows people to have live conversations with people from all over the world. Whatever you type in a chat room appears instantly as a real-time conversation on the screen for everyone else on the channel to see. All the people that are taking part are listed with their nick name or screen name to the right-hand side of the chat. Entering a chat room is kind of like eavesdropping on a school playground: there may be more than one conversation going on at once or one big shouting match !

    Chat Room Danger

    Apart from the danger of young people become addicted and immersed in Chat and losing out on developing their social skills, finishing their homework or playing face-to-face with other children, the real danger of young people using Chat rooms is in being in-touch with someone who would wish to cultivate a relationship with them in order to contact them offline.

    When your children are in a Chat area they are in a very public "place". They don't necessarily know the true identity of anyone they are talking to in the Chat room. Those who would wish to harm children can prey on those in Chat rooms who appear to be left out or lonely. They can pretend to be supportive and sympathetic and gain the trust of the young person by being willing to "listen" to their problems and provide friendship.

    Parents or careers can often be caught out by kids when it comes to computers. Whilst many have just become proficient at using a mouse, some watch in amazement at their kids' ability to grasp the more complex aspects of these new systems. Young people love technology and Chat offers children an exciting opportunity not simply to view the world passively, but the chance to interact and participate with other children, schools, charity projects and celebrities.

    There is no way we can (or should) censor the Net, but we must make sure that when technology can be used to harm children we as parents do our part. Here are 7 key steps you should take.

    Keep the computer in a family room not locked away in a bedroom and spend time surfing together with your children and learn from them how the Internet works.

    There are some good online guides written for parents which explain how the Internet works and how to get the best out of using it with your children. See
    http://www.getnetwise.org and http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise


    Discussing the potential dangers with your children needs care and sensitivity and involves helping them to see the dangers for themselves. Most children will respond more positively if you encourage them to be smart or "cool" on the Internet rather than giving them a list of "Thou Shalt Nots"

    Encourage your children to visit this site and make sure you go through the CHAT TIPS with them


    Just in the same way as you are wary of a stranger knocking on your door make sure your children remember "stranger danger" in Chat rooms and that they never reveal any personal details about themselves, school or family, (address, telephone numbers, photographs etc). Make sure they don't use your credit card number without permission.
    Consider printing out the Smith's story as told from this site for them to read on their own and go through the CHAT TIPS with them.


    Don't allow your children to meet anyone they have contacted via the Internet without you going with them. Be especially careful about your children using Chat rooms un-supervised - especially those which are not moderated.

    You are the best person to know whether your child is mature enough to use un moderated chat rooms. However be careful and make sure your children know the dangers and agree with you to stick to the CHAT Tips.


    Take an interest in the way your kids are using the Internet and encourage them to visit sites that reflect their interest Just as you look out for good TV programs for children, take the time to find the best and most useful websites and chat rooms for you and your family.

    Childnet has produced a special directory called Launchsite which includes 50 excellent online projects which are safe for children. The Childnet's Awards site also profiles inspirational ways in which children are using the Internet for good.


    You can buy software which can help you block sites you may not wish your children to be exposed to e.g.. sexually explicit material, hate and violence sites, alcohol and gambling. Software can also help you monitor the time your child spends on the computer and material they have been viewing as well as block outgoing and incoming information.

    Remember such software is no substitute for good parental involvement and are not 100% effective.
    See Filters and Rating Guide
    And getnetwise





    If you child tells you that they are being harassed by someone they think is an adult in a chat room and is wanting to meet them off line, you should discuss this fully with your child and contact your local police immediately.

    Sometimes it is very difficult for a child to talk about inappropriate online or offline contact. If you are having difficulties in this area and feel that you child is at risk you can Email the MPD Webmaster for more suggestions, or possible scheduling a personal computer session to assist your child.

    Helpful Definitions:

    Internet - An immense, global network that connects computers via telephone lines and/or fiber networks to storehouses of electronic information. With only a computer, a modem, a telephone line and a service provider, people from all over the world can communicate and share information with little more than a few keystrokes.

    Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) - Electronic networks of computers that are connected by a central computer setup and operated by a system administrator or operator and are distinguishable from the Internet by their "dial-up" accessibility. BBS users link their individual computers to the central BBS computer by a modem which allows them to post messages, read messages left by others, trade information, or hold direct conversations. Access to a BBS can, and often is, privileged and limited to those users who have access privileges granted by the systems operator.

    Commercial On-line Service (COS) - Examples of COSs are America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe and Microsoft Network, which provide access to their service for a fee. COSs generally offer limited access to the Internet as part of their total service package.

    Internet Service Provider (ISP) - Examples of ISPs are Erols, Concentric and Netcom. These services offer direct, full access to the Internet at a flat, monthly rate and often provide electronic-mail service for their customers. ISPs often provide space on their servers for their customers to maintain World Wide Web (WWW) sites. Not all ISPs are commercial enterprises. Educational, governmental and nonprofit organizations also provide Internet access to their members.

    Public Chat Rooms - Created, maintained, listed and monitored by the COS and other public domain systems such as Internet Relay Chat. A number of customers can be in the public chat rooms at any given time, which are monitored for illegal activity and even appropriate language by systems operators (SYSOP). Some public chat rooms are monitored more frequently than others, depending on the COS and the type of chat room. Violators can be reported to the administrators of the system (at America On-line they are referred to as terms of service [TOS]) which can revoke user privileges. The public chat rooms usually cover a broad range of topics such as entertainment, sports, game rooms, children only, etc.

    Electronic Mail (E-Mail) - A function of BBSs, COSs and ISPs which provides for the transmission of messages and files between computers over a communications network similar to mailing a letter via the postal service. E-mail is stored on a server, where it will remain until the addressee retrieves it. Anonymity can be maintained by the sender by predetermining what the receiver will see as the "from" address. Another way to conceal one's identity is to use an "anonymous remailer," which is a service that allows the user to send an e-mail message repackaged under the remailer's own header, stripping off the originator's name completely.

    Chat - Real-time text conversation between users in a chat room with no expectation of privacy. All chat conversation is accessible by all individuals in the chat room while the conversation is taking place.

    Instant Messages - Private, real-time text conversation between two users in a chat room.

    Internet Relay Chat (IRC) - Real-time text conversation similar to public and/or private chat rooms on COS.

    Usenet (Newsgroups) - Like a giant, cork bulletin board where users post messages and information. Each posting is like an open letter and is capable of having attachments, such as graphic image files (GIFs). Anyone accessing the newsgroup can read the postings, take copies of posted items, or post responses. Each newsgroup can hold thousands of postings. Currently, there are over 29,000 public newsgroups and that number is growing daily. Newsgroups are both public and/or private. There is no listing of private newsgroups. A user of private newsgroups has to be invited into the newsgroup and be provided with the newsgroup's address.

    East Orange Police Cyber TipLine 
    If you know about a child who is in immediate risk or danger call the East Orange Police Department, your local Police or Click for Cyber Tip HotLine Help or call 1-800-843-5678

 

Making Children, Families, and Communities Safer from Violence

It’s time to stop the violence . . . that is killing our children and our communities. It’s time to help each other build neighborhoods where each of us kids, teens, adults can feel safe and secure from crime. A tough task? Yes, but it’s a challenge that each of us can do something about. We can reclaim our communities child by child, family by family, neighborhood by neighborhood. 

Why accept this challenge? Because every child deserves a safe and healthy childhood. Because no community can afford the costs of violence. Because a healthier, safer community benefits each of us. Because failing to act costs lives and resources. Because our children should not have to raise their children amid violence. Because if we don’t stop it, no one will.

It’s everyone’s business

Violence holds victims, families, friends, and neighborhoods hostage. It rips communities apart or prevents them from coming together. Violence takes many forms. Assaults, rapes, robberies, and homicides are directly violent, but crimes like burglary are often cloaked in violence and cause sometimes-paralyzing fear.

Violence is not just about attacks by strangers. In about half the rapes in this country, the rapist knew the victim. In more than half the murders, the murderer and victim knew each other. Assaults are more likely between people who know each other than between strangers. Domestic violence wrenches apart millions of families each year. Child abuse, overwhelmingly involving someone close to the child, hurts more than a million children a year. Only robberies more commonly involve strangers than acquaintances.

Weapons are part of the problem. They make violence more deadly and less personal. Nine out of ten murders involve a weapon; eight of ten involve a firearm. Most robberies involve the use of a weapon, most frequently a gun. One in five children has reported taking a weapon of some kind to school, most often for self-protection against others whom they believe have weapons.

But weapons are only part of the story. Attitudes, emotions, and reactions are just as important. Without working on all aspects of the issue, you can make only limited progress.

Why go beyond protecting yourself and your family? Because violence penetrates schools, workplaces, and public spaces. It sucks the life out of communities everywhere.

Even if you’re safe from harm, violence still robs you. The costs of violence are enormous. The annual cost of caring for gunshot victims is more than $14 billion. The costs of private security measures, including those against violence, is estimated at $65 billion a year. Violent crime is responsible for much of the $90 billion a year it costs to run our criminal justice system.

Can we stop violence? Yes. Strictly enforced policies against weapons in schools have helped restore a sense of calm in many classrooms. Conflict management courses have taught elementary school children to fight less and negotiate more. Concerted community efforts have reduced or prevented gangs and the violence they bring.  But these things only happened because someone did something.
 

What you can do

Work with your family, in your neighborhood, and in your community. Pick a place to start where you are comfortable.

Recognize that violence has many causes. Some are immediate—a specific argument, easy availability of a weapon, a situation in which an aggressor thinks violence will bring quick rewards, an anger that sees no other outlet. Some are less direct for example, a community tolerance of high violence levels, reinforced by news and entertainment media. Some are individual inability to see another way to settle disagreements, for instance. Some involve situations such as peer pressure that measures or boosts self-esteem through violence.

No one needs to confront all these aspects of violence at once. The point is, there’s something everyone can do.

Building a safer neighborhood

We and our families cannot be safe if our neighborhoods are riddled with violence. Research shows that there’s less crime where communities are working together. Help your neighborhood become or stay healthy.

Get to know your neighbors. You can’t do it alone.

Start, join, or reactivate a Neighborhood Watch or Block Watch. Include discussions of ways neighbors canBlock-Watch Neighborhood Leader watch out for situations that might involve children in or threaten them with violence. Consider starting a formal block parent program such as McGruff House so that children will have reliable, recognizable places to go in the neighborhood, if they feel threatened, bullied, or scared.

Talk with other adults in the neighborhood about how fights among children should be handled. Who should step in? How? Under what conditions? Make sure children in the neighborhood know that adults are prepared to help stop any form of violence.

Share information on basic child protection from this booklet or other good sources. Help each other learn about signs of drug abuse and gangs, along with where to go for help in your community to address these problems.

Agree on what a "trusted adult" will do for children in the neighborhood in case of troubling situations—being threatened, finding a gun or drugs, being approached by a stranger.

Get to know and encourage the kids in your neighborhood. Many young people say that carrying weapons gives them a sense of power, a sense you can help them get in far more positive ways.

Many communities have information and referral services that keep extensive records of the government and nongovernmental groups that can help address neighborhood issues. These are usually listed in the telephone directory. United Way and similar groups sometimes operate referral services. Local taxpayer and civic associations can often provide information.

It’s smart to find out in advance who can help with such issues as abandoned cars, dangerous intersections, broken or inadequate lighting, over-grown or littered vacant lots, deteriorated housing, and the like.

 

Ten Things Adults Can Do To Stop Violence

  • Set up a Neighborhood Watch or a community patrol, working with police. EOPD Crime Dog

  • Make sure your streets and homes are well-lighted.

  • Make sure that all the youth in the neighborhood have positive ways to spend their spare time, through organized recreation, tutoring programs, part-time work, and volunteer opportunities.

  • Build a partnership with police, focused on solving problems instead of reacting to crises. Make it possible for neighbors to report suspicious activity or crimes without fear of retaliation.

  • Take advantage of "safety in numbers" to hold rallies, marches, and other group activities to show you're determined to drive out crime and drugs.

  • Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone - teens, children, senior citizens. Graffiti, litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don't care about where you live or each other. Call the local public works department and ask for help in cleaning up.

  • Ask local officials to use new ways to get criminals out of your building or neighborhood. These include enforcing anti-noise laws, housing codes, health and fire codes, anti-nuisance laws, and drug-free clauses in rental leases.

  • Work with schools to establish drug-free zones.

  • Work with recreation officials to do the same for parks.

  • Develop and share a phone list of local organizations that can provide counseling, job training, guidance, and other services that can help neighbors

Ten Things Kids Can Do To Stop Violence

  • Settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons. Don't stand around and form an audience.

  • Learn safe routes for walking in the neighborhood, and know good places to seek help. Trust your feelings, and if there's a sense of danger, get away fast.

  • Report any crimes or suspicious actions to the police, school authorities, and parents. Be willing to testify if needed.

  • Don't open the door to anyone you and your parents don't know and trust.

  • Never go anywhere with someone you and your parents don't know and trust.

  • If someone tries to abuse you, say no, get away, and tell a trusted adult. Remember, it's not the victim's fault.

  • Don't use alcohol and other drugs, and stay away from places and people associated with them.

  • Stick with friends who are also against violence and drugs, and stay away from known trouble spots.

  • Get involved to make school safer and better - having poster contests against violence, holding anti-drug rallies, counseling peers, settling disputes peacefully. If there's no program, help start one!

  • Help younger children learn to avoid being crime victims. Set a good example and volunteer to help with community efforts to stop crime.

Strengthening the Community

Violence anywhere in the community affects all of the community. By working on community-wide anti-violence efforts, you are protecting yourself, your family, and your neighborhood. Equally important, community policies and regulations can boost neighborhood violence prevention measures.

Work to build community standards and expectations that reject violence and other crimes. All kinds of groups—civic clubs, houses of worship, social clubs, the school system, professional associations, employee groups and unions, business groups, and government agencies—can sponsor educations efforts, conduct forums, develop community service messages for media, and create community-wide networks to prevent or reduce violence.

Emphasize prevention as the preferred way to deal with violence. Ask what schools, law enforcement agencies, public health agencies, libraries, workplaces, religious institutions, child protective agencies, and others are doing to prevent, not just react to, violence. What policies do they have to prevent weapons-related violence? How can they help the community?

Make sure that adequate services are available for victims of violence and other crimes including help in following their cases through court, if necessary, and in recovering from physical, emotional, and financial losses.

Enlist those familiar with the costs of violence—parole and probation officers, judges, doctors, emergency room staffs, victims and survivors (especially youth), local and state legislators and chief executives, youth workers, and others—in pushing for prevention strategies and educating the public about their effectiveness. Personal testimony can be powerfully persuasive.

Make sure your community offers ways people can learn about anger management, conflict mediation, and other nonviolent ways to handle problems.

Find out what positive, enjoyable opportunities there are for young people to have fun in your community. What services are there for kids facing problems? What programs help kids of various ages spend the critical 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. hours (when the largest numbers are without adult supervision) in safe, productive ways?

Establish policies that reduce danger from weapons, especially firearms. Make safe storage of firearms a community expectation, even a law. Ensure that licensing laws are rigorously enforced. Some states and communities have outlawed sale of weapons to those under 18 or 21. Others have imposed age restrictions on permits to carry concealed weapons. In at least one state, conviction of a firearm violation can cost a young driver his or her license.

Work with police to help community residents get rid of unwanted weapons through turn-ins, "amnesty days," and even buy backs. Join forces with other community groups and government agencies to publicize, finance, and staff these events.

Learn your state and local laws on firearms. Insist that these laws be enforced vigorously but fairly. Support police, prosecutors, judges, and other local officials who enforce laws designed to prevent gun violence.

Encourage local and state resources to go toward both prevention and enforcement.

Volunteer to mentor young people who need positive support from adults. Programs ranging from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to Adopt-a-School include mentoring as a central ingredient.

Protect domestic violence victims (and their children) through policies as well as laws that offer them prompt and meaningful response to calls for help and appropriate legal recourse.

Work with others in your community to develop comprehensive, coordinated plans that direct civic resources to deal with immediate symptoms of violence, help neighborhoods strengthen themselves, and work on problems that cause violence. Enlist all kinds of groups; compare notes to avoid duplicating efforts and to benefit from each other’s know-how.

For more information:

Jackie Aker
Media Manager
National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street, NW
Second Floor
Washington, DC 20006

 

Weapons in the Home

When we talk about violence, we can't ignore weapons. Nine out of ten murders involve a weapon - eight of ten involve a firearm. Most robberies involve the use of a weapon, most frequently a handgun.

One in seven teens has reported carrying a weapon - like a bat, club, gun, or knife - at some time to protect himself. Weapons can make violence more deadly and less personal. A gun in the home increases the likelihood of homicide three times and the likelihood of suicide five times.
 

Reduce the risk

Think long and hard about having weapons, especially firearms, in your home. Studies show that a firearm in the home is more than forty times as likely to hurt or kill a family member as to stop a crime.

Look at other ways to protect yourself and your home. Invest in top-grade locks, jamming devices for doors and windows, a dog, or an alarm system. Start or join a Neighborhood Watch. Check with the police, the YMCA/YWCA, or the recreation department about a self-defense class.

If you do choose to own firearms - handguns, rifles, or shotguns - make sure they are safely stored. That means unloaded, trigger-locked, and in a locked gun case or pistol box, with ammunition separately locked. Store keys out of reach of children, away from weapons and ammunition. Check frequently to make sure this storage remains secure.

Obtain training from a certified instructor in firearms safety for everyone in the home. Make sure it's kept current.

Teach your children what to do if they find a firearm or something that might be a weapon - Stop, Don't Touch, Get Away, and Tell a Trusted Adult.
 

Stop violence

Show children how to settle arguments or solve problems without using words or actions that hurt others. Set the example by the way you handle everyday conflicts in the

family, at work, and in the neighborhood. Don't forget that common courtesies like "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" help ease tensions that can lead to violence.

Discourage name-calling and teasing. These can easily get out of hand, moving all too quickly from "just words" to fists, knives, and even firearms. Teach children that bullying is wrong and take their fears about bullies seriously.

Take a hard look at what you, your family, and your friends watch and listen to for entertainment - from action movies and cop shows to video games and music lyrics. How do the characters solve problems? Do they make firearms and other violence appear exciting, funny, or glamorous? Are the real-life consequences of violence for victims and families clear? Talk about what each of you liked and didn't like.

Stick with friends and family who steer clear of violence and drugs. And encourage your children to do the same. Research shows use of alcohol and other drugs is closely linked with violence, including the use of guns and other weapons.
 

Take action in your community 

Be sure you know where and how to report potentially violent situations or concerns about conditions in the neighborhood that could lead to violence. Ask your police department for help in identifying what to report, when, to whom, and how.

Consider organizing an event that lets people turn in weapons, or even objects that might be mistaken for real weapons, in exchange for books, coupons from local merchants, toys, or simply the satisfaction of making the community safer.

Support schools and youth clubs in their efforts to keep guns, knives, and other weapons from menacing the everyday lives of children and teens. Encourage children to report any weapons they know about in or near school to staff or the police.

Look around to see what happens to young people after school hours. Are there supervised programs for younger children? Opportunities for teens and preteens to work with children, get or give help with homework, tackle neighborhood problems, or learn art, music, sports, or computer skills? In many areas, after-school programs are located in schools themselves and called Safe Havens or Beacon Schools.

Start a discussion of neighborhood views on weapons in the home, children playing with toy weapons, children and violent entertainment, and how arguments should be settled.

A PTA meeting, an informal social gathering, or a Neighborhood Watch meeting could provide the opportunity.

Learn your state and local laws on firearms. Insist that these laws be enforced vigorously but fairly. Support police, prosecutors, judges, and other local officials who enforce laws designed to prevent gun violence.

For More Information

Center to Prevent Handgun Violence
1225 Eye Street, NW, Room 1100
Washington, DC 20005
202-289-7319

East Orange Police Safe Links For Kids

Freevibe

http://www.freevibe.com  

Project Know this website tells the truth about drugs from the perspective of kids, parents and experts.

http://www.projectknow.com

Yahooligans

http://yahooligans.com

Animal Planet

http://www.animal.discovery.com

Trivial Pursuit

http://www.trivialpursuit.com

Cyberkids

http://www.cyberkids.com

4Kids

http://www.4kids.com

World Kids Network

http://www.worldkids.com

National Alliance for Youth Sports

http://www.nays.org/

TeenSpeak News

http://www.teenspeaknews.com/

LAW ENFORCEMENT

America's Most Wanted

http://www.amw.com    

EDUCATION LINKS

America Taking Action

http://www.americatakingaction.com

Children Now

http://www.childrennow.org

D.A.R.E. Essays

http://home.gallatinriver.net/~knoxvillepd/dare_essays.htm

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

http://www.ed.gov/free

National School Safety and Security Services

http://www.schoolsecurity.org

Pride USA

http://www.prideusa.org

General..... Children & the Media

A Different World -- Children's Perception of Race & Class in Media

A series of focus groups and a national poll of children.

Association of America's Public Television Stations

Provides information and statistics about children, education and public television. Also provides action alerts with information about how to help in the fight to preserve public television programming.

Children & the Media

The Children & the Media Program is designed to spearhead a new national commitment to improving the quality of media for and about children.

Children's Music Web

Bringing independent/alternative children's musicians and labels and quality age-appropriate music into the public awareness.

Family Friendly Programming Forum

An initiative of American advertisers to encourage more TV programs that parents and children can enjoy together.

For Kids' Sake Radio

For Kids’ Sake! Radio offers a fresh look at children’s issues of both general and discipline-specific interest. Many topics relate directly to education, while others examine areas such as juvenile justice, gang prevention, kids and sports, research on the effectiveness of nurses visiting “at risk” pregnant girls, violence in video games, breast milk banks, and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop)

Information about Sesame Workshop's programs for children including Sesame Street and Ghostwriter.

Community Policing & School Links

Violence in Schools & Journal of School Heath: For more information regarding Federal Activities Addressing Violence in Schools and the Journal of School Health, please see the following link. 

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/violence/index.htm

Training & Technical Assistance

COPS is committed to making a substantial investment in training and technical assistance to assist the nation's police departments with the transition to community policing. The COPS Office is dedicated to providing training and technical assistance for agencies receiving COPS grants and to committing resources to the field that will promote and support the move by law enforcement to community policing.

  Regional Community Policing Institutes (RCPIs)

In 1997, the COPS Office funded the creation of a network of Regional Community Policing Institutes, to develop and deliver innovative community policing training to interested departments throughout a designated region. Institutes have the latitude to experiment with new ideas to challenge and improve traditional training curricula, and to develop curricula that supports community policing and will sustain it in the future. The institutes also provide a wide range of specialized training opportunities that are designed to ensure that community policing is a permanent part of law enforcement.



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