The men and women of the Santa Barbara Police Officers Association are using a holiday greeting card and their website at SBCOPS.com to wish residents and business owners a happy and safe holiday, and specifically to follow these safety tips this season including:
- Record the serial numbers of all electronic equipment and toys that you purchase over the holidays. In the unfortunate event that they are stolen someday, this will help investigators return them to you. Save them in a safe place not on a computer that may be one of the items stolen!
- Avoid leaving delivery items on your doorstep, or in obviously visible areas. It’s like a signal to thieves saying, No one is home!! Try to have a neighbor collect them for you, or arrange with your delivery drivers to leave them in a less conspicuous place, like behind a hedge or planter.
- Always, always, always lock your car and your home when you leave, even if it’s just for a few minutes. And never leave valuables in your car, especially in shopping mall parking lots. That’s just too easy and that’s what trunks are for!
- If you receive calls from charities soliciting over the holidays, remember that you should never give out your personal information (Social Security number, credit card numbers) over the phone to someone who calls you, no matter how convincing they sound. If you want to donate to that charity, ask for their website or mailing address. Make sure they’re legitimate before you send them anything.
- Do not invite solicitors into your house. Also, did you know that anyone soliciting in the city of Santa Barbara is required to have a City of Santa Barbara (not just a County of Santa Barbara) permit and carry it on their person at all times. Ask to see it and if you are uncomfortable, close the door and call the police.
- Take photos of any valuable gifts you receive, especially jewelry. While you have the camera handy, take photos of ALL your jewelry and valuables. Keep the photos in a safe place; again, in the unfortunate event of a theft or loss, you will have the best possible description of what is missing. Remember photos stored on a computer that is stolen will not be helpful!
- Always carry enough cash for a cab ride home from holiday parties, for yourself or for a friend who has had too much to drink. A DUI can be an expensive and all too often, tragic ending to a happy evening.
The campaign is not using any taxpayers or city funds but is supported entirely by contributions from the officers themselves and community.
Eric Beecher, SBPOA President said, “This program continues our community safety campaign that began with our 2009 “Safe Summer Santa Barbara” television campaign. We believe these seven, simple tips and increased awareness can help make our 2010 year end holiday season safer and saner, and are well worth our and our community’s voluntary contributions.“