The Tallahassee Police Department has released holiday safety and security tips to help keep crime and traffic accidents from spoiling the spirit of the holiday season.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas break right around the corner, many students from Florida A&M, Florida State and Tallahassee Community College will be traveling to visit loved ones for the holidays.
To ensure safety, TPD offers the following tips:
• Make sure your home or apartment is left secure. Check all doors and windows to make sure they are closed and locked. Put interior lights and radios on timers.
• Remove all valuables from your car and park in a highly visible, lighted area. Don’t forget to lock your car.
• Have a trusted neighbor or friend check on your place and pick up mail and newspapers.
• Tell a friend or relative where you are going, when you will be back and how to reach you. Do not post this information on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
Crime rate indexes for 201 for measure robbery risks at 225, burglary risks between 175-200 and motor vehicle theft at 125 in Tallahassee.
The crime rate index can be accessed on TPD’s website.
Watson Germine, second-year business administration student from Miami, is one of many students planning on going out of town.
Germine isn’t taking this trip lightly though, because he became victim of burglary last summer.
“I left during the summer for only two weeks when I found out someone broke into my apartment and stole my TV,” said Germine. “I am very scared to go out of town and leave my belongings this time around.”
Along with holiday safety tips, TPD reminds residents that they also offer extra patrol for your home or business anytime you are away, including during the holidays. Germine did not know about this free
service but now plans on using it.
“I’ll even spread the word about it,” said Germine.
According to the Florida Traffic Crash Statistics, Thanksgiving traffic crash fatalities in 2010 reached 38, with alcohol related fatalities at 15 and Christmas traffic crash fatalities reached 24, with eight being alcohol-related fatalities .
These numbers were all recorded within a 96-hour time period.
“I always see at least one accident when I’m on the road,” said healthcare administration student, David Harris from Daytona Beach.
The Tallahassee police department has tips for drivers as well.
• Have a mechanic service your car. Plan your route and keep a map, cell phone and extra cash on hand in case of an emergency. Don’t forget your cell phone battery charger.
• Allow yourself plenty of travel time. Don’t drive when you are tired or have been drinking.
• Be careful of what and how much your drink. Never lose control of your situation and surroundings. Don’t leave a bar alone or with a stranger – only go with friends.
Harris plans on driving home this year as he does every year. Harris says that he takes the normal precautions when preparing his vehicle for the drive home.
“I always go get my tires serviced and make sure my brakes are working right,” said Harris. Although his drive to Daytona Beach isn’t very far, Harris still takes precautions while driving. “I always wear my seatbelt, and never drive too fast,” he said.