Public Safety Tips & Information
Home Security Information
- Always lock your doors and windows. Many thefts occur when doors and windows are left unlocked.
- Install and use deadbolt locks.
- Outside doors to residences, including the one between your house and garage, need to be solid and fit tightly in their frame. Hinges should be inside the door.
- Secure sliding glass doors with locks and place a dowel in the track of the door to prevent it from sliding open when you are not home.
- Leave lights on when you are away, and rotate which lights you leave on in your home. Use light timers if away for any extended amount of time.
- Close blinds and shades at night.
- Alarms are good, but dogs are better for preventing burglaries.
- Keep outside areas well lit.
- Trim back shrubbery that hide doors or windows, cut back tree limbs that could help a thief climb into a second story window.
- Install a peephole in the door and use it.
- Verify the identity and legitimacy of any sales or service person before letting them into your house.
- Never let a stranger into your house when you are home alone; and no matter the reason, never give the appearance to a stranger that you are home alone.
- If you live alone, use only initials or last name on your mailbox.
- Never provide personal information to subjects calling that you do not know.
- If you come home and find a door or window opened or signs of forced entry do not go inside - call 911 immediately.
If a citizen leaves their residence for a vacation or an out-of-town venture, department personnel will conduct frequent security checks of that home. Simply call the Alcoa Police Department to find out how to arrange for this service.
Reporting Suspicious Activities or Crime
- If you witness a crime or suspicious activities, call 911 immediately and report what you observed.
- Do not confront the subject or subjects; be a good witness.
- Provide police with a physical description of the subject; scars, facial hair and tattoos help identify subjects.
- Provide police with a detailed clothing description of what the subject was wearing. For example: red shirt, blue baseball cap, white tennis shoes.
- Provide police with how many subjects were involved, their gender and race.
- Inform police of any vehicles that were involved and their description.
- Vehicle descriptions are very important; license plate number, make of vehicle, color, condition of vehicle and any bumper stickers or distinguishing items on the vehicle.
- If vehicles or subjects leave the area, provide police with the last known direction of travel.
- Stay on the telephone as long as possible with police.
- Providing name and call back number would help police.
Personal Safety Tips: Beware of Scams
- If something sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
- Never provide bank account or credit card numbers over the telephone.
- Beware of contractors that randomly contact you for repairs they believe you may need.
- Never pay for a job in full until the work is completed.
- Check references and past work done by any individual or company you whom you may contract with for any job
- Always verify the organization before donating money and identify the caller.
- Never provide keys to contractors with free access to your property when your not home. While work is being done avoid leaving checks, credit cards or cash lying around the house.
- Never invite door-to-door solicitors into your house.
- All residential solicitors must carry a license issued by the city (unless the organization is not for profit organization) when soliciting in the City of Alcoa.