As Police Chief of the City of Waterbury Police Department, I am determined to ensure to that each and every member of my staff works diligently to serve our citizens and visitors with courtesy, dignity and respect. The result of these efforts is an unparalleled partnership between the Waterbury Police and the Waterbury community.
Downtown Waterbury is a hub of culture, education and business. Therefore, the Waterbury Police Department works closely with Main Street Waterbury to keep this area clean, safe and friendly for our visitors. With the holiday season nearly upon us, I wanted to offer a few suggestions for safeguarding your shopping experience.
1. Pay attention to your surroundings. At this time of the year, we’re all pre-occupied with holiday plans, lost in thought about all of the things that we need to get done. It’s important to remain aware of your surroundings while you’re out and about; please don’t allow yourself to become so preoccupied with your mental to-do list that you’re unable to assess potential dangers. Try to park in well lit areas if you are shopping at night. If you see something or someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, go back into the building and ask for a security officer or store employee to escort you to your car. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance! Many businesses hire extra staff or security personnel to assist them during this time of year.
2. Secure your belongings. While on a shopping trip, ALWAYS lock your vehicle between stops and secure your packages in your vehicle’s trunk or, at the very least, cover them with a blanket and lock your doors. Also, hide your GPS, iPods and all other electronic devices, including their chargers. In addition, remove loose change from your cup holders, or any other areas visible from outside your car. Often, if you remove the temptation of valuables left in plain sight, a would-be thief will walk right past your car.
3. Don’t make yourself an easy target. Dress casually, don’t wear expensive jewelry and avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you. When possible, pay for purchases with a check or credit/debit card. Keep all of your credit card numbers and account information at home and notify your credit card company immediately if your card becomes lost or stolen. Don’t overload yourself with packages when walking to your vehicle and have your keys ready before you get to your vehicle.
The Waterbury Police Department regularly patrols the downtown area on foot, bicycles, Segways and police cruisers, which provides for rapid response times to downtown incidents. Efforts like these are directly proportional to the ongoing decrease of crime, not only in the downtown area, but throughout the entire City of Waterbury. In fact, since 2003, the City of Waterbury has enjoyed at least a 35 % decrease in violent crime and a significant decrease in Part 1 and Juvenile crimes, too. Taking these preventive measures can help keep your holiday season a safe and joyous one.
Chief Michael Gugliotti
Waterbury Police Department