Apache Junction police offers free security programs, services

Apache Junction Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly

Apache Junction Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly

Now that the fall season has begun and the temperatures have started to cool down we see many of our winter residents begin to return. The Apache Junction Police Department wants to welcome our returning and new winter residents back.

I would like to remind both our winter residents and those die-hard year-round residents of the many programs and services we offer to help our residents stay safe and thrive in our wonderful community.

The following reflect on some of the programs and services available. These, while not all inclusive, are opportunities and benefits you as resident of Apache Junction have while partnering with your police department to decrease and deter crime in our community.

Neighborhood Watch: Empowering citizens to help reduce their chances of becoming a victim through education, teamwork and a partnership with the police.

Watch Your Car: A free vehicle theft prevention program sponsored by the Arizona Auto Theft Authority that allows owners to voluntarily enroll their vehicle(s) and by displaying decals that alert police the vehicle is not usually driven between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

•Free VIN Etching: VIN etching is the process of permanently etching the vehicle’s 17-digit vehicle identification number on the major pieces of glass on the vehicle.  Etching your vehicle’s glass serves as a permanent fingerprint and is an effective visual deterrent against automobile theft.

This is an annual event that typically takes place in February. Watch the Apache Junction City website, papers, and social media for dates and times.

Bike and Golf Cart Registration: This is a free program that allows residents to register their bike or golf cart so if that item is ever stolen and recovered, it can be returned to them.

Residential Security Assessment: This assessment can be done on one’s own or by request with an expert to help identify possible security risks around their home and property and then learn what they can do to deter crime and increase their personal security.

RX Take Back: The prescription Take Back program is a partnership with the DEA that has been ongoing in our community since 2007 and provides residents a safe and secure method for disposal of outdated or unwanted medication.

•Car Seat Loaner program: This program makes car seats available to residents so they can ensure any children visiting them are transported safely during their visit.
Due to limited resources, these seats are reserved on a first come/first serve basis.

If you feel you will need to reserve a seat, contact the AJPD Community Resource Coordinator at 480-474-5442 or e-mail her at scarney@ajcity.net as soon as possible. When reserving a seat, you must provide the age, height and weight of each child you are reserving a seat for.

Tip411: The AJPD provides a way for residents to submit tips in various ways (anonymous if needed) on the phone or online. This allows for residents to be proactive in helping report activity that needs to be investigated.

RAIDS Online: Raidsonline.com is an online mapping program that shows criminal activity in a specific area and notifies users of criminal activity in that area.

Offender Watch: This link will connect you to the Offender Watch program that monitors and tracks sex offenders within the city of Apache Junction. This site is updated on a daily basis.

Senior ID Program: The Senior ID Program is for anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk because they are at risk for wandering. Even in the early stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused for a period of time. It’s important to plan ahead for this type of situation. If you or a loved one is at risk of wandering, this program is for you.

The program utilizes a computer, a camera and a fingerprint-scanning device. This system produces a printout of the senior’s information, photograph, 10-digit fingerprints, and a laminated ID card. The wallet-sized Senior I.D. card includes a photo and the holder’s name, phone number, address, birthday, emergency contact name and phone number, physician’s information, medications and dosage, and other information that could be useful to paramedics in a medical emergency.

•Informational and Educational Seminars upon request: The AJPD regularly visits businesses, schools and neighborhoods to provide information and education on topics ranging from fraud, identity theft, design out crime, holiday safety, shoplifting prevention, 911 use, People Smarts and more. To schedule an event, call Serene Carney at 480-474-5442 or e-mail her at scarney@ajcity.net.

•Website and Social Media: When we publish safety tips, crime prevention information, updates on arrests and traffic or weather incidents, we send it to the local newspapers, post it on our website and post to our social media accounts: Facebook and Twitter.

However, when we have spur of the moment updates or updates as events occur, such as weather and traffic alerts, these are only updated on social media since this is distributed immediately and can change rapidly.  We encourage those who want to stay up to date on all our events and activities to not only check in on the police and city websites, but also to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @AJPoliceDept to get immediate updates and information.

If you are not familiar with social media, or are not comfortable using it and would like to learn how, check in at the AJ Public Library for classes.

The AJPD takes a very proactive approach in working with residents to increase their knowledge and awareness of security and safety risks, but most importantly, we strive to partner with our residents and empower each resident to decrease and deter these risks.

Once again we, your police department, continue to welcome and appreciate the outstanding relationships developed with all our business, fraternal/service organizations and resident partners. We pledge to serve each and every one of you with respect, professionalism and accountability.  Together we will continue to provide a safe and thriving community.

If you should have any additional questions or would like more information about any of the aforementioned programs, please feel free to contact our community resources coordinator by calling 480-474-5442 or e-mailing scarney@ajcity.net.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you and please stay safe and enjoy our community together.

Editor’s note: Thomas E. Kelly is chief of police for the Apache Junction Police Department.

Thomas E Kelly is with the Apache Junction Police Department

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