Want to invite burglars into your home? Just leave the garage door open for them. Leawood Police Officer Randy Wiler says approximately half of the city’s residential burglaries can be accounted for by open garage doors. Many northeast Johnson County communities, while considered incredibly safe, have dealt with home burglaries over the years. When that garage door is open, Wiler says, it gives a burglar a quick way to grab something even if it is just out of the garage. And it does not take them long.
Wiler is the community policing specialist for Leawood police and about 15 years ago wrote the book on residential security that is still part of the crime prevention materials the department uses to help residents stay safe. The book went online about two years ago and is just one of many of the online resources the department posts under its Crime Prevention Training Academy materials.
The residential security handbook covers everything from doors and locks to alarm systems and vacation tips. It can be found with a host of other crime prevention materials related to child safety, identity theft and senior citizen topics as well as residential security issues. The residential security section features not only the book, but a quick check sheet and a security movie.
Wiler says another good resource is the community’s crime map which is updated every night at midnight. A resident can search by area or subdivision to see what kind of police activity has occurred or to understand what the sirens were all about in the neighborhood.
Most of the city’s many subdivision use Facebook pages and many have a designation resident in charge of crime watch who updates the page with pertinent information. Wiler also has a specialty in environment safety which includes how a resident can deter crime by the physical setting around the house: how landscaping and lighting are used, for example.
In September, an open house at the Leawood Justice Center will give the department a chance to give more help to residents, including self-defense training from the police defense tactics training officers. A highlight will be the trial of Goldilocks (for stealing porridge and breaking a chair, including the crime scene unit collecting evidence at the home of the three bears and Goldilocks being booked in the detention room.