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East Orange Police Department

Crime Prevention

What is Crime Prevention? By definition, Crime Prevention is "Being aware that a crime can occur, anticipating its form, location,EOPD: Tip The Scale In Your Favor time and victim, and taking action to reduce the chances of its happening."

There are three elements the criminal must possess for a crime to occur: Desire, Ability, and Opportunity . Think of them as a triangle. Eliminate just one of the elements, and no crime will take place, the triangle cannot be completed. You have no control over the first two elements. Whether the criminal has the desire or ability to commit the crime is solely up to them. However, you can have great control, if not eliminate, the third element - opportunity.

Crime prevention is using instinct, common sense, and action to eliminate or greatly reduce the criminal's opportunity. A large share of the responsibility of reducing criminal opportunity lies with YOU! That is not to say that if you are a victim of crime it is your entire fault and not the fault of the criminal...certainly not! But the fact remains that WE all have a personal part to play regarding crime prevention.

How to practice Crime Prevention. Educate yourself on prevention techniques. Mark your personal property and maintain personal security. Get to know your police. Memorize the phone number, know the location of the police station, get to know and support your local police officers.

EOPD: Answer The Call For HelpReport any crime or suspicion of crime at once. You can't assume that someone else has already reported it. Stay informed by following the news and keeping up-to-date on local crime problems. Work with others, like Block Watch and Business Watch. Support the whole legal process and help stamp out the cause of crime. And most of all is a good role model and obey the laws yourself. Set a good example for others - especially your children. Remember, you are the key to winning the war against crime!



Crime Prevention Tips


As a community service, the East Orange  Police Department in association with the New York State Police are  offering helpful crime prevention and safety information that you can download and reproduce. To view and print the information, you must have Adobe's Acrobatģ which you can download, without cost, directly from Adobe by clicking on below link.

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Publication Description/Purpose Pgs.
Bomb Threat Instruction Card This card is a guide on how to respond when a person receives a "bomb threat" telephone call.
Crime Prevention for People with Physical Disabilities Crime prevention for people with physical disabilities when they are at home, on vacation, out and about and on public transportation.
Cyber Safety A guide for parents to help protect their children when their children are on the Internet.
Date Rape This pamphlet discusses how to prevent date rape, what to do when someone you care about has been sexually assaulted, what to do if you have been raped, the "date rape" drug and some myths/truths about date rape.
Guide to Business Security Crime prevention tips and techniques to help businesses keep their establishments safe.
Halloween Safety Coloring Book A 12-page coloring book that contains safety coloring pages, mazes and quiz for students and some Halloween safety pointers for parents.
On-line Safety Rules This one-page poster can be printed in color or black and white, signed by your children) and posted near the family's computer as a reminder your children) to be careful when they are on the Internet.
Project SAVE: Safe Schools Against Violence in Education The guide defines SAVE planning requirements and assists school personnel in developing safety plans and forming school safety teams.
School Crime Scene Management A guide to help school personnel appropriately manage a school crime scene and, thus, minimize contamination of critical crime scene evidence.
Take Crime Prevention to Work This pamphlet gives workers crime prevention tips to employ in their office, around their building, at the airport, on the road and in a hotel
Working Together to Create Safer Schools This pamphlet gives advice to students, parents, school staff and community partners on how to create a safer school environment.

Crime Prevention Information

Identity Theft

EOPD: Don't Be An Easy TargetIdentity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States and is the number one consumer fraud in the nation. The East Orange Police Department, in conjunction with The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Trade Commission are working hard to combat this issue. Several resources have been pooled in an effort to assist victims of this crime.

The East Orange Police Department would like to get as much information to the community as possible. Below you will find two links, one to the United States Postal Inspection Service's site www.usps.gov/postalinspectors which will allow you to view their identity theft pamphlet. This pamphlet has information on how to safeguard your personal information so that you will reduce your chances of being a victim of identity theft. You will also find a link to the Federal Trade Commission's site http://www.creditscore.net/additional-resources/fight-identity-theft/  which will allow you to look at the statistics on identity theft. This site also contains instructions for completing the ID theft affidavit. This affidavit will attest that you are a victim of identity theft and is a vital step in disclaiming false purchases made by using your identity. If you discover that you are a victim of identity theft contact the East Orange Police Department.

Here are 10 tips recommended by the East Orange Police to prevent identity theft:

1. Guard that Social Security number...
The most important step is to guard your Social Security number -- it is the key to your credit report and banking accounts and is the prime target of criminals. Do not print your Social Security number on your checks. After applying for a loan, credit card, rental or anything else that requires a credit report, request that your Social Security number on the application be truncated or completely obliterated and your original credit report be shredded before your eyes or returned to you once a decision has been made. A lender or rental manager needs to retain only your name and credit score to justify a decision.
2. Monitor your credit report...
Credit reports can alert you to activity in your financial records. A monitoring service, such as Privacy Guard, will notify you whenever someone applies for credit in your name or checks your credit history. You then can be proactive; call the person and ask, "Why are you checking my credit?" It might be a landlord or employer; it might be legitimate.
3. Buy a shredder and use it...
Identity thieves may use your garbage to obtain personal information. Shred all old bank and credit statements, as well as "junk mail" credit-card offers, before trashing them. Use a crosscut shredder -- they cost more than regular shredders but are superior.
4. Remove your name from marketing lists...
The three credit-reporting bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- all maintain marketing lists that may contain your information. Contact the agencies to remove your name from the lists. You also should add your name to the name-deletion lists of the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service used by banks and other marketers. Removing your name from these lists reduces the number of pre-approved credit offers you receive.
5. Watch what you carry in your wallet...
Do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet or carry extra credit cards or other important identity documents except when needed. These documents can give thieves ready access to your accounts.
6. Keep duplicate records...
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of your license and credit cards so you have all the account numbers, expiration dates and phone numbers if your wallet or purse is stolen.
7. Mail payments from a safe location...
Do not mail bill payments and checks from home. They can be stolen from your mailbox and washed clean in chemicals. Take them to the post office.
8. Monitor your Social Security activity...
Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a year to check for fraud.
9. Monitor your credit-card activity...
Carefully examine your credit-card statements for fraudulent charges before paying them. If you don't need or use department-store or bank-issued credit cards, close the accounts.
10. Know who you are talking to...
Never give your credit-card number or personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and trust that business.

 What to Do if Someone Has Already Filed Taxes Using Your Social Security Number

If someone uses your information to file a fraudulent tax return, he or she is looking to get your tax refund. You'll want to work with the IRS as soon as you discover the identity theft to ensure that your actual return is processed as quickly as possible.

The Internal Revenue Service has taken steps to improve its identity theft prevention, detection and resolution programs. This includes improvements that help detect fraudulent returns and prevent further processing of them, as well as improvements to the way identity theft cases are handled.

In most cases, if someone uses your information to file a tax return, he is looking to get your tax refund. You'll want to work with the IRS as soon as you discover the identity theft to ensure that your actual return is processed as quickly as possible. And you should consider placing holds on your accounts to prevent additional loss from theft.


n many cases, when someone files a tax return using your Social Security number, you wonít find out until after the second return is filed. The second return could be from you or the person who has stolen your information.

When the IRS receives two different returns with the same Social Security number, the return will be rejected if you e-filed or youíll get a written notice that explains that a return has already been filed if you paper filed your return. Even if you donít get a letter from the IRS but suspect a fraudulent return has been filed with your information, you can still take action.

IRS Form 14039

When you discover another a tax return has been filed with your Social Security number, youíll use IRS Form 14039 to alert the IRS. When you complete this form, youíll indicate that someone has stolen your identity and it has affected your tax account since they have filed a return using your identifying information. Youíll also provide information about the tax year affected and the last return you filed prior to the identity theft.

Sending Form 14039

After you complete Form 14039, mail it to the IRS with a copy of your Social Security card and driverís license. If you donít have a driverís license, you can substitute a U.S. Passport, military ID or other government-issued identification card.

If you received an IRS notice concerning the fraudulent return, include a copy of the notice. Mail the form and documents to the address shown in your notice.

If you did not receive an IRS notice, mail your documents to

Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 9039
Andover, MA 01810-0939

Additional precautions

When someone has enough of your personal information to file a fraudulent tax return, she can use your identity to commit other crimes. In addition to alerting the IRS, you should place a freeze on your credit report file with all three credit bureaus to prevent unauthorized accounts from being opened. The Federal Trade Commission also suggests filing an identity theft report with your local police department, and also with the FTC online.

Telemarketing Sales Rule

The FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule requires telemarketers to make certain disclosures and prohibits certain misrepresentations. It gives you the power to stop unwanted telemarketing calls and gives state law enforcement officers the authority to prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who operate across state lines.

The Rule covers most types of telemarketing calls to consumers, including calls to pitch goods, services, "sweepstakes," and prize promotion and investment opportunities. It also applies to calls consumers make in response to postcards or other materials received in the mail.

Keep this information near your telephone. It can help you determine if you're talking with a scam artist or a legitimate telemarketer.

  • It's illegal for a telemarketer to call you if you've asked not to be called. If they call back, hang up and report them to your state Attorney General.

  • Calling times are restricted to the hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

  • Telemarketers must tell you its a sales call and who's doing the selling before they make their pitch. If it's a prize promotion, they must tell you that no purchase or payment is necessary to enter or win. If you're asked to pay for a prize, hang up. Free is free.

  • It's illegal for telemarketers to misrepresent any information, including facts about their goods or services, earnings potential, profitability, risk or liquidity of an investment, or the nature of a prize in a prize-promotion scheme.

  • Telemarketers must tell you the total cost of the products or services they're offering and any restrictions on getting or using them, or that a sale is final or non-refundable, before you pay. In a prize promotion, they must tell you the odds of winning, that no purchase or payment is necessary to win, and any restrictions or conditions of receiving the prize.

  • It's illegal for a telemarketer to withdraw money from your checking account without your expressed, verifiable authorization.

  • Telemarketers cannot lie to get you to pay, no matter what method of payment you use.

  • You do not have to pay for credit repair, recovery room, or advance-fee loan/credit services until these services have been delivered. (Credit repair companies claim that, for a fee, they can change or erase accurate negative information from your credit report. Only time can erase such information. Recovery room operators contact people who have lost money to a previous telemarketing scam and promise that, for a fee or donation to a specified charity, they will recover your lost money, or the product or prize never received from a telemarketer. Advance-fee loans are offered by companies who claim they can guarantee you a loan for a fee, paid in advance. The fee may range from $100 to several hundred dollars.)

Exceptions To The Rule

While most types of telemarketing calls are covered by the Rule, there are exceptions. The Rule does not cover:

  • Calls placed by consumers in response to general media advertising, except calls responding to ads for investment opportunities, credit repair services, recovery room services, or advance-fee loans.

  • Calls placed by consumers in response to direct mail advertising that discloses all the material information required by the Rule, except calls responding to ads for investment opportunities, prize promotions, credit repair services, recovery room services, or advance-fee loans.

  • Catalog sales.

  • Calls initiated by the consumer that are not made in response to any solicitation.

  • Sales that are not completed, and payment or authorization for payment is not required, until there is a face-to-face sales presentation.

  • Calls from one business to another unless nondurable office or cleaning supplies are being offered.

  • Sales of pay-per-call services and sales of franchises. These are covered by other FTC rules.

Apartment Security

We all have the potential to be victims of crime. Each of us can REDUCE THE RISK of our homes/property being victimized by eliminating the desire, ability and the opportunity.

Lobby Security

  • Unknown or suspicious persons trying to get into the building should be referred to the Management, Security, or the Superintendent.

  • DO NOT allow strangers to enter the building as you are leaving or entering. Cooperate with all other tenants in keeping the main doors locked at all times.

  • DO NOT buzz anyone into the building whom you donít know.

  • Use only your first initial on the lobby directory, doorbell, mailbox and phone directory.


Door Security

  • Doors should be mounted with hinge bolts that are not facing inwards. 
  • Install one-inch deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. 
  • Chain locks are poor security. Install a wide-angle viewer instead, and NEVER open your door to a stranger. 
  • NEVER leave your door unlocked, even while taking out the trash. 
  • DO NOT leave notes on your apartment door, or on the lobby directory. 
  • Use a Charlie-bar, or piece of wood, to secure the sliding glass doors and all lower windows.
  • If you see a stranger carrying items out of a neighborís apartment, call the Managerís office or 911. 


Elevator Security

  • Look to see whoís in the elevator before entering. 
  • DO NOT enter the elevator if you do not feel comfortable. Wait for the next one.
  • When in the elevator, stand beside the control panel. 
  • If a suspicious person enters the elevator, exit before the doors close. 
  • If accosted on an elevator, hit as many floor buttons as possible. 

Home Security

Your home is your castle...or is it?  Are you really safe once your get home and lock your door?  In an open society your home should be the sanctuary for you and your family.  Your home is the only environment where you have control over who can get close to you or your family.  Protecting your home and family from criminal intrusion should be high on your list of priorities.

EOPD: Avoid Returning Home AloneGood neighbors should look out for each other.  Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street.  Invite them into your home, communicate often, and establish trust.  Good neighbors will watch out for your home or apartment when you are away, if you ask them.  They can report suspicious activity to the police or to you while you are away.  Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing vendors to mow your lawn or remove snow.  Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well.  Good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation.  Allowing a neighbor to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door.   Experienced burglars know to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, above the ledge.  Requiring a service vendor to see your neighbor to retrieve and return your house key will send the message that someone is watching.   This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called 'territoriality' which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood.  This concept works in both single family homes communities and on apartment properties.  This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way.  Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.

  • Get to know all your adjacent neighbors

  • Invite them into your home and establish trust

  • Agree to watch out for each other's home

  • Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality

  • While on vacation, pick up newspapers, and flyers

  • Offer to park your car in their driveway

  • Return the favor and communicate often

  • Neighborhood Crime Watch: Suspicious Activities To Be Aware Of

  • Person(s) concealing, attempting to conceal, or carrying something suspicious.
    Persons or vehicle stays in the same location for an unusually long period of time.
    Could be "casing" a home or business.
    Criminal looking for a possible victim.
    Waiting to participate in or initiate a drug transaction.
    Person could be sick and may need assistance.

    Person acts strangely.
    May be under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
    May be sick or injured.
    May be mentally ill.

    Vehicle frequently "cruising" a block or specific location.
    Might be a "get-away" car for a crime in progress.
    Criminal(s) waiting for a specific or appropriate time to commit a crime.
    Sex deviant/pervert looking for a target (victim).

    Car parked with engine running.
    A code violation in most states.
    May be a "get-away" car.

    Person(s) looking into cars and moving from car to car.
    Possible looking to burglarize a car.
    May be attempting to steal a car.

    Car being driven at night with no lights on.
    Car is being stolen and the thief is attempting to avoid detection.
    Car is leaving the scene of a crime and the criminal is attempting to conceal his tag, vehicle description and his identity.

    Person running at night or running for no apparent reason; is not suitably dressed for jogging.
    May be attempting to leave the scene of a crime.
    Intended victim of a crime trying to escape.
    Person seeking emergency help.

    Person(s) selling or conducting business out of his vehicle.
    May be selling merchandise without a license/permit.
    Might be selling stolen merchandise.
    Could be selling drugs.

    Person climbing into or out of a window.
    May be a burglary in progress.

    Vehicle being driven in a reckless manner.
    Driver may be under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
    Driver may be attempting to transport someone to a hospital.
    Driver may be leaving the scene of a crime or fleeing from police.

    Suspicious Sounds - If you hear anything that sounds like someone is being beaten, immediately call the police.
    Prying, pounding or breaking glass - (burglary in progress?)
    Screaming/yelling for help - (is someone in trouble?)
    Alarm going off - (could be fire, burglar, or car alarm?)
    Loud music - (is it being used to cover up screams for help as in domestic violence, or to cover up a crime in progress?)
    Gun shots - (murder?)


Interior lighting is necessary to show signs of life and activity inside a residence.   A darken home night after night sends the message to burglars that you are away on a trip.  Light timers are inexpensive and can be found everywhere.  They should be used on a daily basis, not just when your away.  In this way you set up a routine that your neighbors can observe and will allow them to become suspicious when your normally lighted home becomes dark.  Typically, you want to use light-timers near the front and back windows with the curtains drawn.  The pattern of them clicking on and off simulates actual occupancy.  It is also comforting not to have to enter a dark residence.  The same light timers can be used to turn on radios or television sets to further enhance the illusion of occupancy.

Exterior lighting is also very important.  It becomes critical if you must park in a common area parking lot or underground garage and need to walk to your front door.   The purpose of good lighting is to allow you to see if a threat or suspicious person is lurking in your path.  If you can see a potential threat in advance then you at least have the choice and chance to avoid it.  Exterior lighting needs to bright enough for you to see 100 feet and it helps if you can identify colors.  Good lighting is definitely a deterrent to criminals because they don't want to be seen or identified. 

Another important area to be well-lighted is the perimeter of your home or apartment especially at the entryway.  Exterior lighting on the front of a property should always be on a timer to establish a routine and appearance of occupancy at all times.   Common area lighting on apartment properties should also be on a timer or photo-cell to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn.  Garage or porch lights left on all day on a single family home is a dead giveaway that you are out of town.   Exterior lighting at the rear of a home or apartment are usually on a switch because of the proximity to the sleeping rooms.  The resident can choose to leave these lights on or off.   Security lights with infra-red motion sensors are relatively inexpensive and can easily replace an exterior porch light or side door light on single family homes.  The heat-motion sensor can be adjusted to detect body heat and can be programmed to reset after one minute.  These security lights are highly recommended for single family homes.

  • Use interior light timers to establish a pattern of occupancy

  • Exterior lighting should allow 100 foot visibility

  • Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door

  • Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically

  • Use infra-red motion sensor lights on the rear of single family homes


EOPD: Is Your Home Burglar Proof?Alarm systems definitely have a place in a home security plan and are effective, if used properly.  The reason why alarms systems deter burglaries is because they increase the potential and fear of being caught and arrested by the police.  The deterrent value comes from the alarm company lawn sign and from the alarm decals on the windows.  Home and apartment burglars will usually bypass a property with visible alarm signs and will go to another property without such a sign.  Some people, with alarm systems,  feel that these signs and decals are unsightly and will not display them.  The risk here is that an uninformed burglar might break a window or door and grab a few quick items before the police can respond.  Also, don't write your alarm pass code on or near the alarm keypad.

Alarm systems need to be properly installed and maintained.  Alarms systems can monitor for fire as well as burglary for the same price.  All systems should have an audible horn or bell to be effective in case someone does break in.  However, these audible alarms should be programmed to reset automatically after one or two minutes.   The criminal got the message and will be long gone but your neighbors will have to listen to the alarm bell, sometimes for hours, until it is shut off.  If you use a central station to monitor your alarm, make sure your response call list is up to date.   Home alarms, like car alarms, are generally ignored except for a brief glance.   However, if you have established and nurtured your neighborhood watch buddy system, you will experience a genuine concern by your neighbor.  It is not unusual to have a neighbor wait for the police, allow them inside for an inspection, and secure the residence.  A good neighbor can also call the glass company or locksmith to repair any damage, if pre-authorized by you. 

The biggest difficulty getting to this level of concern is taking the first step.   You can take it by calling your local crime prevention unit at the police department.  Most police departments in large cities have neighborhood watch coordinators to help you set this up.  You should invite your adjacent neighbors over to your home for coffee and begin the information exchange.  You'll be amazed how the process runs on automatic from there.

  • Alarm systems are effective deterrents with visible signage

  • Alarm systems to be properly installed, programmed, and maintained

  • Alarm systems need to have an audible horn or bell to be effective

  • Make sure your alarm response call list is up to date

  • Instruct your neighbor how to respond to an alarm bell


This is a program supported by most police agencies.  They recommend that you engrave your drivers license number or social security number on televisions, stereos, computers, and small electronic appliances.  They suggest this so they can identify and locate you if your stolen items are recovered.  The E.O.P.D. suggests that you go way beyond this step.

The East Orange Police Department recommends that you photograph your valuables and make a list of the make, model, and serial numbers.  You should keep this list in a safety deposit box or with a relative for safe keeping.  Beyond that we recommend that you photocopy important documents and the contents of your wallet.  You will be thankful that you took these steps in case your home is ever destroyed by fire or flood, is ransacked, or if your wallet is lost or stolen.

  • Famous Quote by Albert EinsteinIdentify your valuables by engraving your drivers license number

  • Photograph and record the serial numbers of all valuables

  • Photocopy the contents of your wallet and other documents

  • Store the copies in a safe deposit box or with a relative

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