As I near the end of my first six months as your new Chief of Police, I wanted to let you know what an honor and privilege it is to work in this beautiful community. I have truly enjoyed interacting with and meeting many of the Village Residents. If I haven’t yet met you in person, I hope to do so soon. I am very impressed with the caliber of both the Sworn and Civilian Employees in this Department, they are all very committed to keeping this Village safe and we are diligently working together to achieve that end each and every day.
It has also been a pleasure to work with a Mayor and Village Board who are committed to supporting our Police Department. In the past few months our department has upgraded equipment and technology, adding capability that is unique on Long Island to help keep this Village safe. If you hadn’t noticed, NYPD followed our department in deploying StarChase technology and several other Nassau County Villages are now adding Flock cameras, at least in part due to our success with them here. We’ve also had some of our private partners add Flock cameras, which increases our overall capability at no added expense to Village Residents.
Thus far this year we’ve seen a substantial decrease in residential burglaries (down 67%) and car thefts (down 43%). I believe this is due to a number of factors. Certainly, the work of the members of the Police Department has contributed greatly to this, most notably an arrest of members of the pattern burglary group here in Old Westbury earlier this year by our Police Officers. Our new technology has also been effective and we have stopped several vehicles based upon alerts from our recently deployed state-of-the-art license plate reader network. It is also critically important for me to point out another important factor, Village Residents who have listened to our advisories and altered behaviors that would have made them more susceptible to having their cars stolen or homes burglarized. This news should not be cause to let our guard down, but rather it should reinforce the need to redouble our efforts, continuing to work together to keep this community safe. I thank all of you for helping our department, but unfortunately these must all be ongoing efforts, as criminals continue to seek easy targets to prey upon.
No doubt many of you have noticed the disturbing increase in active shooter incidents this year. Sadly, no community is immune from this type of violence. Our department continues to work on enhancing our capability to respond to an event of this nature, hoping we will never need to use this training. Next week we will be conducting joint active shooter training with other Village Departments in this area to continue our preparedness.
Finally, I never wish to miss an opportunity to educate residents on how they can assist our department in keeping this Village safe.
Car theft prevention:
- Virtually all high-end cars are stolen with the keys inside
- Always lock your car and remove the key fob
- Remove the key fob and lock the car even when fueling it at a gas station
- Never leaving your car running while unattended
- Shut off your car and hand valet parking attendants your keys, rather than leaving them in the car
- Be alert for anyone who may be following you home
- If you pay for vehicle tracking, please keep the log in credentials available or keep an Airtag in your car
Residential burglary prevention:
- Pattern burglars generally hit around sunset or shortly thereafter
- Burglars want to get into the primary bedroom and pattern burglars often enter directly into this room, even if it is on an upper floor
- Keep home alarms activated, whether home or away, especially around sunset until you go to bed – remember the primary bedroom is the target area
- Make your home look occupied by keeping lights on inside throughout the house
- Monitor motion notifications from camera systems and alert our department immediately if you see anything suspicious
- Keep safes locked
- Consider putting Airtags in valuable items, such as designer handbags