Crime Prevention Tips
Why do Police Stop People?
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT REASONS WHY THE POLICE MIGHT STOP YOU. WHATEVER THE REASON, THE OFFICER NEEDS YOUR COOPERATION.
1. You may have committed a traffic violation.
2. You may fit the description of a suspect.
3. The officer might think you are in trouble and need help.
4. You may have witnessed a crime.
WHEN STOPPED BY POLICE, REMEMBER:
1. A police officer may pull you over at any time for a traffic offense or police
2. When you see the red overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and safely pull over parallel to the right side of the road.
3. Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise.
4. Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them.
5. Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard; rear seat
or passenger side of the vehicle.
6. Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the officer requests them. Michigan Law requires drivers to show their license, registration and insurance card upon request.
7. If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them.
8. If the stop occurs during darkness put on your dome or interior lights so the officer can easily see that all is in order.
9. If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and
cooperate with instructions. You as the operator are solely responsible for your
vehicle and its occupants.
10. The officer may issue you a ticket. If you feel the reason is vague or unclear, ask the officer for the details.
11. Avoid becoming argumentative. Arguing will not change the officer’s mind. If you contest the violation, you will have the opportunity to contest the matter in court.
12. Be honest with the officer. If you really didn’t see the stop sign, or are unaware of the speed limit, let the officer know. Being honest about any situation never hurts.
13. Many departments use one-officer patrol cars, especially in the suburbs. It would be normal to see two or three marked units on a routine traffic stop.
14. Finally, if you receive a ticket, accept it calmly. Accepting it is not an admission of guilt.
GENERALLY, A POLICE OFFICER:
1. Will provide his or her name upon request.
2. A police officer who is not in uniform will present proper identification; you may request to examine their credentials so that you are satisfied that they are a law enforcement officer.
3. Will inform a person of the reason for being stopped.
4. Will only use the force necessary to affect the arrest of a suspect and to maintain the custody of a prisoner.
5. Will not search the body of a person of the opposite sex except to prevent injury to the officer or another person, or to prevent the disposal or destruction of evidence, and
6. Will only arrest a person for a crime committed in the officer’s presence, or when the officer has probable cause to believe the person has already committed the crime.
7. If you have a question about procedures or a complaint about your treatment, contact the Department and ask to speak with a supervisor. You may also send a letter of compliment if you feel the officer was particularly helpful in your situation.
Protecting Your Home from Burglars
Outside Your Home
Protect your home by starting where the burglars usually start - outside.
Look around. Are large trees near the house? Prune lower limbs that could help a thief climb in second floor windows. Trim trees and bushes so a burglar cannot use them for cover. High wooden fences also allow a burglar to work unnoticed. Remember to lock up ladders and tools. Ask your neighbors to do the same. Trellises look great, but place them where they cannot be used as ladders to the second floor.
Criminals avoid the spotlight. Porches, yards, and all entrances to your home and garage should be well lit.
Your House Number:
Make sure law enforcement or fire agencies can locate your house in an emergency. Your house number should be clearly visible from the street day and night. Use numbers that are 6 inches high and made of reflective materials or black numerals against a white background. Avoid script numbers - they can be confusing. If your house is some distance from the road, post the number at the driveway entrance. If you live on a corner, make sure the number faces the street named in your address.
An easy, inexpensive way to secure double-hung windows is to use a nail. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert a nail or an eyebolt. The window cannot be opened until you remove the nail. Make a second set of holes with windows partially open so you can have ventilation without inviting intruders. For sliding windows, try the preventative tips suggested for sliding doors.
Entry doors should be solid core wood (at least 1 3/4 inches thick) or metal. Most hollow core doors can be easily broken through. They offer little protection, no matter what locks you use. Your door should fit its frame tightly - with no more than 1/8-inch clearance between the door and frame. If the gap is too large, replace the door. If that is too expensive, bolt a sturdy metal strip to the door edge. You boost your protection and save energy. Any hardware dealer can show you the kind of strip to use. Doors with decorative glass panels or windows are an easy mark. It takes only seconds to break the glass and unlock the door. If you do not want to replace the door, install a break-resistant plastic panel or decorative grill over the glass. Attach the grills with non-removable screws. Most door hinges are on the inside, safe from a burglar's tools. If hinges are on the outside, the hinge pins can be easily removed and the door taken out of the frame. To protect such doors, replace hinges with new ones with non-removable pins.
Sliding glass doors
Burglars look for sliding glass doors because they are easy to open. Several types of locks are made especially for these glass doors. The existing lock can be bolstered by placing a solid strip of wood in the track of the closed door. That helps block the door even if the lock is broken. Determined thieves may lift the door off its tracks. Use these preventative tips:
• Adjust rollers so the door cannot be pushed up enough to lift it off the
• Insert screws along the upper track of the door. Leave enough room
for the door to slide, but not enough space to lift the door out.
• Drill a hole and insert a nail through the inside frame and part way
through the metal door frame. You can remove the nail, but a burglar
A deadbolt lock can provide good protection. When you turn the key, the lock mechanism slides a strong metal bolt from the door into the frame. When you buy a deadbolt lock, make sure:
• The bolt extends at least 1 inch from the edge of the door
(has a 1-inch thro).
• The connecting screws that hold the lock together are on the inside
of the door.
• The strike plate is attached to the door frame with screws that
measure at least 3 inches.
• The cylinder has a steel guard - a ring around the key section.
The cylinder guard should be tapered or rotated around the key
to prevent wrenching if twisted.
Double-Cylinder Deadbolt Locks
The Plymouth Township Police and Fire departments do not recommend Double-Cylinder Deadbolt locks for safety reasons. In case of an emergency, we want the resident to get out of the house quickly.
Padlocks are typically used for garages, sheds, and workshops. Look for a sturdy padlock that does not release the key until the padlock is locked. Be sure the padlock is case-hardened with a 3/8-inch shackle so it can resist bolt cutters. A double-locking design can prevent the shackle being pried away from its case. Remember that a padlock is only as good as the hasp on which it is mounted. The hasp should be secured with bolts that are concealed when the padlock is locked. All the hardware in the world will not protect you if you open your door without checking who is on the other side. Buy an inexpensive viewer. Tell your children and their babysitters not to open the door to strangers
Remember, always use your locks. Even a five-minute trip to the store is
long enough for a burglar to enter you home.
Victims report that as many as half of all burglaries take place without forced entry. In many cases, the burglar used a key. Be sure your keys do not fall into the wrong hands.
• Never carry identification tags on your key ring or holder.
• When you move into a new home have the locks re-keyed or changed.
A locksmith can do this or, if you are handy with tools, you can change
the lock yourself.
• Know who has every key to your home. Do not give keys to
maintenance or delivery people.
• Do not hide your key outside. Burglars know all the hiding places.
If you desire additional security, you might consider a burglar alarm system. Be sure you deal with a reputable firm that provides approved systems.
Michigan Seat Belt Law
|Revised January 2002|
| Michigan’s Safety Belt Law
Public Act No. 29 of 1999
Effective March 10, 2000
0 Point Civil Infraction
|Restraint Use Requirements|
|0-3||All passengers shall be properly
secured in approved
Child Restraint System*
|4-15||All passengers shall wear a
properly adjusted and
fastened safety belt**
|16 years and older||Driver and front seat
passengers shall wear a
properly adjusted and
fastened safety belt**
|*In compliance with CFR 49 section 571.213
**In compliance with CFR 49 section 571.208 and 571.209
General Crime Prevention Tips
• Know and avoid situations and locations that could invite crime, such as dark alleys,
unlit parking lots, etc.
• Decide what you plan to do in the event you are confronted - i.e., show confidence;
• Consider your options in these situations and practice your responses often so that
you can recall them in a real situation.
Home Security Tips
• Consider having a peephole installed in your doors. Make sure you have the proper
locks on doors and windows and use them while you are at home as well as when
you are out.
• Never open the door for a stranger. Always demand verification of the stranger's
identity and the purpose of the visit.
• Never tell a stranger calling by phone that you are alone or that you are disabled.
• Plan an avenue of escape from each room in your residence in case of emergency,
such as a break-in or a disaster.
Consumer Protection Tips
• Always ask for identification from all door-to-door solicitors, and call their agency for
• Don't commit yourself to purchases or charitable donations over the phone. Ask the
caller to mail the information to you so you can make an informed decision. If you
are not familiar with the company or organization, consult the State Department of
Consumer affairs or the Better Business Bureau.
• Be sure to read and understand all contracts before you sign them. If your sight is
impaired, have someone you trust read the entire document.
• Beware of anyone who is offering products or services at a "once in a lifetime" offer.
• Consider having your checks mailed directly to your bank to avoid mail theft or
Protect Your Car from Theft
Tips to Protect Your Car from Theft
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), In 2020 alone, a variety of more than 810,000 motor vehicles were stolen nationwide ranging from passenger vehicles to motorhomes. Some tips to help prevent your vehicle from getting stolen include:
· Close all the windows and lock all the doors when away from the vehicle.
· When parked, never leave your keys in the vehicle.
· Never leave the vehicle with the engine on and unattended.
· Try to park in well-lit and well-trafficked areas.
· It is recommended to install an anti-theft device on your vehicle, especially one that emits a loud audible noise when tampered with.
· Try to park motorcycles in a garage or similar structure, however if unable to do so, it is recommended to install an anti-theft device.
· For vehicles parked at a residence, it is recommended to keep outdoor lighting on throughout the night and install an outdoor surveillance camera system.
In 2020, there were more than 1.05 million reports of personal property stolen from inside motor vehicles nationwide. Larcenies from vehicles continue to be a popular crime in every community throughout the country. Victims who left their parked vehicles unlocked accounted for the majority of larcenies reported, compared to those who locked the doors. Some tips to help lower the chance of becoming a victim of larceny include:
· Make sure to lock up the vehicle, even if away from the vehicle for a short time.
· Make sure anything costly is hidden from sight. Examples include: keys to the vehicle, money, cellular phones, tablets, purse or wallet, jewelry, cameras, etc.
· Please keep in mind, many times thieves will steal your vehicle if the keys are left inside.
· Secure all personal property inside your residence once you are home for the day or night. This includes a gym bag, backpack, etc., even if there is nothing of value inside, a thief does not know that and will take the chance to find out.
· If you are unable to remove valuable items from the vehicle, please stow the items from being seen in plain sight. Some examples of where to stow the item(s) in the vehicle are the trunk, under the seats, glove box, center console, or rear of SUV covered up. The idea is to deter a thief from breaking into the vehicle.
Individuals in Plymouth Township observing suspicious activity around parked vehicles are urged to call the Plymouth Township Police Department.
Crime Prevention for Seniors
Practice Basic Safety
· Have deadbolts installed on your doors; keep all doors and windows locked.
· Draw the curtains at night, and keep the outside of your home well lit.
· Install motion sensor lights outside and use automatic timers for interior lights.
· Install a peephole in your door.
· Never leave extra keys in obvious places outside.
Safeguard Your Mail
· Retrieve your mail as soon as possible from your mailbox to avoid sensitive mail being stolen.
· When possible, mail letters directly at the post office or with your postal carrier.
Set up Direct Deposits for Benefit Checks
· Physical checks can be stolen from mailboxes or easily picked up by someone who enters your home. It is best practice to have your benefit checks deposited directly into your financial account.
Never Allow an Unsolicited Contractor to Enter Your Home
· Keep your doors locked, and do not invite them in. Ask for identification, even if they say it is an emergency.
· If necessary, call the company to confirm the individual is suppose to be there.
· Call a neighbor or 911 if you sense something is not right.
Protect Yourself from Financial Elder Abuse
· Maintain control over your finances and monitor accounts for abnormal withdrawals.
· Regularly review your will, power of attorney, and property titles.
Tips for Babysitting
Caring for young children is one of the biggest responsibilities you may ever have. You must be able to protect yourself as well as the children.
Getting the Job
- · Take a babysitting course offered through the Red Cross or a local community education program. https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/babysitting/babysitting-child-care-training/babysitting-classes
- · Know your employer. Baby-sit only for people you or your parents know, or for whom you have a personal reference. Answering social media ads may not be safe.
- · Be sure to find out from your employers what time they expect to be back. Be sure they know how much you charge and when you must be home.
- · Leave the name, address and telephone number of where you'll be babysitting with your parents and tell them what time your employers expect to be home.
On the Job
- · Before your employers leave, fill out the babysitter’s safety checklist at the end of this material. Do this for every job you take. Keep the form with you.
- · Have your employers do a safety check with you throughout their home. Check for hazards and things that the children can get into, such as matches, lighter fluid, electric cords, plastic bags, medication, or anything else that may be dangerous. Find out if their home has emergency exits, a smoke alarm, or a fire extinguisher.
- · Know how to work the door and window locks in the home and use them. Leave at least one outside light on if possible.
- · If there is a pool, get detailed instructions from the parents regarding pool access. Generally, it is best to have no one near the pool when the parents are away.
- · Do not tell anyone that you are home alone with the children.
- · Don't open the door to strangers, and don't tell anyone who comes to the door that you're there alone.
- · Do not let your smartphone distract you from the children, they are YOUR responsibility.
In an Emergency
- · If you suspect a fire, get the children and yourself outside. Go to a neighbor's house and call the fire department (911).
- · If you've been able to take the safety checklist with you, call your employer and let them know where you and the children are.
- · In any kind of emergency, try to remain calm and call 911.
When the Job's Over
- · When your employers return home, report on what happened, especially if you considered anything unusual.
- · Call home to let someone know you're on your way.
- · Be sure you have an escort home; this should be one of the conditions under which you accept any babysitting job.
- · If, for some reason, your employers won't drive or walk you home - or seem under the influence of drugs or alcohol - ask someone at your home to come and get you.
Babysitting Safety Checklist
Address and Phone: Where Parents Will Be:
Contact Phone Number:
Emergency Neighbor Contact: Child(ren)'s Doctor & Phone Number:
Police or Fire Emergency Phone Number:
911 Poison Control Center: AFTER CONTACTING 911 call 1-313-486-0078 then press 1
FIND ADDITIONAL CHECKLISTS HERE
Robbery is a crime "against a person," and is a frightening experience. It can result in injury or even death to the victim. When protecting your business from robbery, it is important to remember to take preventive measures and make it obvious that those measures have been taken.
Here are some ways to discourage robbery:
• Lock unused doors.
• Avoid working alone. If you must, turn on a hidden radio or TV so robbers will think
there's someone with you.
• Vary the schedule and route for your bank deposits so a robber never knows when
or where to expect you. Make several deposits each day, and keep only necessary
cash in the cash drawer. Then, if you are robbed, you'll cut your losses.
• Make sure your cash register is clearly visible to passersby.
• Arrange the counter so that the customer - or robber - is visible from the street.
• Avoid placing signs or displays near windows which block visibility from the street.
• Record the serial number of the bottom bill in each bin of the cash drawer, and
instruct employees not to use these bills in making change.
• Keep "bait" money in a spare compartment of cash registers. The bait packet should
be separated by face value as other bills. Keep a list of the serial and series year
numbers to give to law enforcement officials if you're robbed.
• If your business runs an exceptionally high risk of robbery, you may want to invest
in a bulletproof cashier screen. A screen "defuses" the robber's threat, but other
prevention measures may be equally effective at lower cost.
• Display signs at entrances and exits indicating that safes require secondary keys
not in the possession of employees.
• Advertise your security alarm system with signs in visible locations.
• Develop a mutual aid system among stores on your block. Agree to keep an eye
on each others' buildings and watch for any suspicious activities.
• Place colored tape markers at exits at heights of 5-feet-6 and 6 feet. Then, if you
are robbed, you can get an accurate estimate of the suspect's height as he leaves.
• A robbery may be over in less than a minute. You need a quick eye to get a good
look at the robber. That's why many stores place hidden cameras behind cash registers.
If a robbery happens
• Someone points a gun at you and demands your money. What do you do?
Give it to him. Never refuse a robber.
• If you have a silent alarm and can reach it unnoticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until
the robber leaves. (Use your alarm with care. Excessive false alarms can cause
problems for law enforcement and for you.)
• If possible, signal other employees. Have a pre-arranged signal for such
emergencies. Again, if the robber will see you, wait. Try to avoid sudden moves.
Many robbers are just as nervous as you.
The most important thing to do if you're robbed is to observe - be a good witness.
• The description of a suspect you give to the police may be the only information they
have to go on.
• A vehicle description and license number of the suspect vehicle is of tremendous
value to the police; however, do not endanger yourself to acquire this information.
After the robbery
• Call police immediately - don't waste a minute.
• Write down everything you can remember about the robber and the crime itself.
Note the robber's appearance height, weight, color of hair and eyes, scars, tattoos,
accent, anything unusual, and as much as possible about his clothing, weapon and
mannerisms. Try to remember the robber's exact words, and try to observe any
vehicle the robber uses to get away.
• Keep everyone away from surfaces the robber may have touched.
• Cooperate fully with law enforcement and prosecutors. Your help is crucial,
so stick with the case.
Protecting Yourself Against Fraud
As a fraud victim, you have a strong motivation to avoid being defrauded again. The following recommendations may help. Remember, of course, that not every organization that calls you or sends you mail is involved in fraud-most are not. Still, if you encounter any of the techniques described below, use caution before buying, investing, or making donations.
Avoid Identity Fraud
• Never provide personal or financial information, such as your social
security number, mother's maiden name, savings or checking
account numbers, or credit card numbers or expiration dates, to a
person or agency with whom you are not familiar, especially over the
telephone or internet.
• Don't imprint your social security number or driver’s license number on
• Remove mail from your mailbox as soon as possible. Also, it’s better
not to place mail in your mailbox for postal pickup-take it directly to
the post office.
Review Financial Dealings
• Investigate all referrals from family, friends, or acquaintances
concerning financial investments or purchases, especially if you are
unfamiliar with the vendor.
• Carefully document all transactions related to you finances or
business, including dates and the names of individuals you dealt with.
• Never send money orders or checks to a post office box unless you
are sure of the recipient. When in doubt, contact you local better
business or consumer protection agency.
• Be wary of ads claiming that bad credit is no obstacle to obtaining a
car loan, secured credit cards, or other service. Many businesses
that market to people with bad credit charge exorbitant interest rates
or require an advance fee to apply for credit that may not be available.
Check with your better business bureau or consumer protection
• Be cautious of lenders who use 800 or 900 numbers. You may call an
800 number only to be directed to a 900 number, which you pay to
use, allowing the vendor to profit from the call while giving you little or
nothing in return.
• Be wary of individuals or companies that require you to send
contracts, payments, or other items though non-postal delivery
systems, such as overnight couriers. Many fraudulent companies and
individuals use such delivery systems to avoid detection and
prosecution by the U.S. Postal Service.
• For personal services and repairs, always obtain several estimates
and compare costs. Don't sign any contract you don't fully
understand, and don't advance any money for services or repairs until
you have thoroughly investigated the individual or company.
• Before buying any product or service, find out the company's refund
and cancellation policies.
• When in doubt, ask for information in writing. If they don't supply it,
• Beware of checks form small amounts that are mailed as prizes.
Often, if you cash them, you will authorize a charge for services or
items you did not want.
• Be suspicious of all mail, phone, or computer promotions that require
you to act quickly to receive goods or services.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal information with the intent to defraud or violate the law by concealing, withholding, or misrepresenting their identity using another person’s personal information.
How can I protect my personal information?
- Never provide personal or financial information such as your social security number, mother’s maiden name, savings or checking account numbers, or credit card numbers to a person or agency with whom you are not familiar with.
- Shred all paperwork that contains your personal information.
- Do not click on links attached to emails or websites you are not familiar with.
- Do not give control of your computer to someone on-line.
- Never pay an unknown agency or company with gift cards, money wire transfers or send them cash.
- Do not be rushed into a decision, always consult with a family, a friend or the Police Department.
- Purchase an identity theft protection service.
What to do if you become a victim of identity theft?
- File a Police Report.
- Notify the agency where your personal information was compromised (social security administration, your bank, etc.).
Contact the 3 national credit bureaus to request fraud alerts and credit freezes:
- Equifax: Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services (800) 685-1111
- Experian: Experian.com/help (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion: TransUnion.com/credit-help (888) 909-8872
You should also file a complaint with the FBI and FTC:
- FBI: ic3.gov
- FTC: identitytheft.gov
Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. A domestic relationship includes a spouse or former spouse, a person with whom you have a child, or a person with whom you have or had a dating relationship.
Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individual in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive. Domestic violence intensifies over time. Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues.
Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust. Abusers may apologize profusely for their actions or try to convince the person they are abusing that they do these things out of love or care. However, violence and control always intensifies over time with an abuser, despite the apologies. What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless (e.g., wanting the victim to spend all their time only with them because they love them so much) escalates into extreme control and abuse (e.g., threatening to kill or hurt the victim or others if they speak to family, friends, etc.).
Regardless of where you are, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, please dial 911 immediately for police response. If the situation is not an emergency, and if safe to do so, please call or visit a police agency to report a domestic violence incident.
The Plymouth Township Police Department works closely with the Wayne County Prosecutors Office to prosecute offenders who commit the crime of physical battery or sexual domestic violence in Plymouth Township.
Aside from reporting domestic violence to the police, a victim may also obtain a personal protection order against the abuser. Please refer to Personal Protector Orders under Crime Prevention Tips for the process of how to obtain a personal protection order.
There are hotline numbers available victims of domestic violence may call for assistance. They are as follows;
- National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) for anonymous, confidential help available 24/7 Hotline Website
- First Step Domestic & Sexual Violence Services: 734-722-6800 / Open 24 hours First Step Website
- Wayne County Crisis Line: 800-241-4949 Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network Website
- RAINN (Rape And Incest National Network): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) National Sexual Assault Hotline Website
What is the "hands free driving" law in Michigan?