By Debra Karplus
You can search on crimereports.com and happily discover that Culver City has relatively few crimes, mostly against property rather than people. You probably already know to keep your house doors locked including the door connecting the garage to the house, whether you are in the house, away from the house or just out working outside in the backyard. Maybe you even have a security system that’s wired to the police dispatch in case someone attempts to break into your house. Most homeowners insurance gets discounted premiums because of homes that have those systems and pay for monitoring.
Possibly your neighborhood has an active Neighborhood Watch Group which includes signs, regular meetings of neighbors and, most important, a system for reporting to police any suspicious people or activities nearby. If not, the Culver City Police Department welcomes citizens to start new Neighborhood Watch Groups. Their web site tells more about it at culvercitypd.org and asks potential Neighborhood Watch Groups to call 310-253-6258 to start a new watch group.
How do you assure that your child will be safe when old enough to be away from you?
Your baby, toddler or preschool child is with you most of the time or at least is with a trusted caretaker that you have screened carefully. But once your child is old enough for school, you have to trust that he or she will be as safe when away from you as they are at home.
The Culver City Unified School District (ccusd.org) has a security program similar to those around the country. School entryways are kept locked during the school day using a buzzer system for visitors to enter after identifying themselves. Security cameras exist in school hallways. Schools have periodic emergency drills and teachers have had crisis training and are well-trained in school lockdown procedures. School resource officers (SRO) are Culver City Police who work in schools with older students.
Stranger danger can be learned at a very young age.
As soon as your child is proficient enough in language and cognitive, perhaps by three years old, begin serious discussions about stranger danger. By that age, your child can differentiate someone they know from a stranger. They should be instructed never to talk to a stranger, and certainly never to go into a car with someone they don’t know, despite any enticing offer of candy, video games, or something seemingly fun. It is better that you child risk being impolite to someone they actually do know, than risk interacting with a stranger.
Creepy people who prey on children and are potential kidnappers, make it their business to know local school start and end times, and if they are targeting a certain area or street corner, they get to know when children walk to school or wait for a school bus at a specific place and time of day. The best advice for you children is to pay attention to their surrounds and tell a parent, teacher or other trusted grownup of anything suspicious.
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