A crime prevention meeting was hosted by 56th Security FoA crime prevention meeting was hosted by 56th Security Forces Squadron and Balfour Beatty Communities Feb. 13. All residents from base housing and the dormitories were invited to attend, as well as representatives from the Glendale Police Department Community Action Team.
The meeting was brought about by a recent increase of criminal activity in the Luke Air Force Base community, ranging from theft and home break-ins in Ocotillo housing, perimeter breaches at the wall and an attempted break-in at Falcon Dunes Golf Course. This is an increase over the past four or five years, where the amount of activity has been minimal. And after hearing the concerns of Luke residents over Facebook, base security noted that there seemed to be a sense of panic.
“Obviously, there’s an issue we’re trying to fix,” said Maj. Sean Gibbs, 56th SFS commander. “We’re here today because my staff and I take your safety and security extremely seriously. We want you to feel safe in your homes.”
A major component of the meeting involved Gibbs and Staff Sgt. Travis Dulworth, 56th SFS police operations NCO in charge, explaining what to look for and how to prevent crime in neighborhoods as well as opening the floor to questions and suggestions.
“Crime prevention, community policing, is everybody’s business,” Dulworth said. “Everybody. It’s not just security forces, it’s not just Glendale police, it’s all of us.”
Security Forces offered residents a few tips, including locking home and car doors, buying a safe deposit box, having a friend watch over the home during a vacation, and keeping valuables from being in the open. A very important thing to remember is to be aware of the community.
“Getting to know your neighbors is important,” Dulworth said. “And I’m not saying you have to add everybody on Facebook, but getting to know family members and people in the residence next to you is another crime prevention tip.”
Officer Jeffery Horsley and retired Sgt. Chuck Eversparker of the Glendale PD CAT also offered tips on preventing crime. Their suggestions included photographing or video recording valuables, and engraving the owner’s driver’s license number and state on some items, which is free service under Operation Identification at the police station.
The question of how far people can go to defend themselves from an intruder was brought up.
“If a stranger comes into your house, you confront them and they are continuing to come into your house, you have the right to use deadly force against that person,” Horsley said. “And as the old saying goes, ‘I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six.’ I’m going to take care of myself and I’m going to take care of my family.”
Base security has already taken steps to protect Luke residents, such as trimming trees to increase visibility.
These meetings are just the beginning of the SFS’s fight against criminal activity on base. Calling 911 is a viable option, but it is preferred that, excluding medical emergencies, base security is called at 623-856-6322, or for anyone who wishes to remain anonymous, call 623-856-6666.
For more information, call Dulworth at 240-405-9680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.