Actual Police Advice: “Never Answer Door for Someone You Don’t Know. Call 911”

Wondering how to stay safe this terrifying happy holiday season? Here are some actual tips from the police of Fishers, Indiana. Fishers, by the way, was named the #1 city for families by The Learning Channel. (Maybe because they’re too scared to go outside, so they’re inside watching…the Learning Channel?) It was also named one of America’s “friendliest” towns by MSN.com-Forbes. Wikipedia reports the median Fishers family income  is $103,176.

But read this advice from the cops and you’d think it’s the third circle of Hell.

I was going to just choose my favorite tips, which include, “Residents should NEVER open the door to a stranger,” and, “Avoid driving alone or at night.” But I also love the tip suggesting that when you go to your car after shopping and your hands are full of packages, “Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.”

Because apparently in Fishers the (friendly?) thieves are so fast and ubiquitous, they’re just waiting for that Abercrombie bag to hit the asphalt and — whoosh! — goodbye skinny jeans, hello police report.

Anyway, it DOES make sense to be aware of your surroundings. Beyond that, you can decide for yourself how much of this makes any sense at all, in terms of actual danger and actual safety.  (Boldface mine…because I couldn’t resist):

Safety Tips from Fishers Police

 

The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people can become distracted and vulnerable to theft and other acts of crime. We encourage residents and visitors to be careful, prepared, and aware of their surroundings. If you see something that does not look or feel right please call 911 immediately. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors…. [A]ll of us at The Fishers Police Department wish you a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season.

 

Driving

 

  • Avoid driving alone or at night.
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
  • Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • When approaching and leaving your vehicle be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
  • Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

 

Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

 

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located near a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

 

Shopping

 

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
  • Only carry necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
  • Keep cash in your front pocket.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas and public transportation locations.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

 

Children

 

  • If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the bathroom.
  • Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
  • Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

 

At Home

 

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Contact the Fishers Police at (317) 595-3300 and/or fill out a Vacation Watch Form to notify us of your vacant home.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.

 

Strangers at Your Door

 

  • Residents should NEVER open the door to a stranger.
  • Residents should announce that they are in the house and call 911 immediately.
  • Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
  • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
  • Donate to a recognized charitable organization.

 

Immediately call 911 to report suspicious activity.

If that doesn’t get you in a holiday mood, what will? A PSA about elevated cholesterol?

I get that the cops want to keep crime down and feel they’re being helpful. But it is not helpful to act as if a safe neighborhood is a neighborhood under siege. And it is not helpful to make it seem as if going about one’s ordinary day — shopping after dark, putting bags on the ground, answering the door — are crazy-dangerous activities that smart people should avoid. That’s turning everyday life into a horror movie.

And you might miss meeting the nicest people. – L

.

Knock and I’m calling 911!

.

 

68 Responses to Actual Police Advice: “Never Answer Door for Someone You Don’t Know. Call 911”

  1. En Passant December 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.

    Any color van? Or just white vans? Or maybe you should call 911 if you even see a white van.

  2. Myriam December 20, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    I will need to shop online, now that I can’t drive at night or alone. But I won’t be able to answer the door to accept delivery of my packages. So there won’t be any display of christmas presents visible through the window! There, problem solved!

  3. Cristabel December 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    I used to work as a therapist. If I’d had a patient come in and say they did these things I would be diagnosing them with multiple anxiety and personality disorders.

  4. BMS December 20, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    So every time the high school sports boosters come asking for donations I should call 911? Every Jehovah’s Witness? UPS guy? For heaven’s sake, the town police would rightfully arrest me for wasting police time. Do these police have so little to do? I’ve got windows to wash if they’re that bored.

    And where do these guys live, on the equator? Just try to shop only in daytime when the sun sets at freaking 4:30. Sheesh.

  5. JND December 20, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    What else do you expect from pigs?

  6. LGB December 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    In such as low-crime, family-friendly town, the police actually NEED something to do. What better way to keep them entertained than to call them when your new stranger-neighbors come knocking on your front door to introduce themselves? I’m sure they’ll appreciate the welcome from you AND local law enforcement. 🙂

  7. LGB December 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    “Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.”

    Yes, we suburban mommy mini-vanners are not to be trifled with.

    The one reason you should avoid parking next to us? We take too damn long to load our groceries and buckle up our fussy kids!

  8. PJH December 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    “…well-lighted area…”

    Well *lit” area.

    Call the grammar police!

    No, seriously – if they’ve solved all the crime such that they need to compose such error ridden prose such as this to garner more need for their services, I wonder why people aren’t asking for their taxes to be lowered since they’re no longer needed as much…

  9. Dee December 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    Are you sure that parts of this didn’t come from my neighborhood watch? Because they are ALL about not answering the door. They were up in arms over carolers recently. Yes, they were collecting for a charity. Am I 100% sure they were legit? No, but they sang great and had a guitar. It was worth $5. But some of the neighbors acted as though they Satan incarnate going door to door.

  10. Jess December 20, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    •If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
    Yes, because I hire a baby-sitter every time I go shopping (full background check required)

    •Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
    What if I deliberately leave them in the book section?

    •Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
    See above.

    •Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the bathroom.
    What if I need to go to the bathroom? Do children count as a person when shopping/driving? If I leave them in the hall while I pee should they find a store worker? What if my kids are color-blind and accidentally go up to a green-shirted person in a red-shirt store?

  11. Havva December 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    I would rather be robbed, repeatedly, than live like that.

  12. Joan December 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    What’s awful about this isn’t that the police are trying to offer helpful safety tips to residents, its that they’ve given valid advice like “be aware of your surroundings,” “don’t let your Christmas tree block fire exits,” and “notify your credit provider immediately if your card is lost or stolen” with ridiculous advice like “never carry a wallet or purse or any money when going shopping” (really? The stores don’t let you take things for free, last I checked!), “never open the door to someone who looks like a delivery person,” and the helpful but irrelevant “water your Christmas tree or it will turn brown.” How can anyone be expected to develop a realistic perspective on risk?

  13. Mark Roulo December 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    Well, the city *did* suffer two murders in 2014, bringing their total for the century to … two.

    For a city of about 75,000.

    You can’t be too careful.

  14. Beth December 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Can someone explain “dress casually and comfortably” as a safety tip? Is it because if a woman is in heels she can’t run from the bad guy? Or a tie could be used to choke the male wearing it?

    That’s all I can come up with. Ideas, anyone?

  15. CrazyCatLady December 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Don’t park next to my white mini-van with tinted windows (As my kids call it, “The Creepy White Van.”) The kids might actually open a door into your car and put a ding in it. It is why I park far away.

  16. WendyW December 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    I agree that most of these are on the ridiculous side. But Christmas shopping is a nice opportunity for people that are so inclined to do a little thieving. An upscale mall in an upscale suburb is a nice target. So, yes, I would be cautious in the parking lot, and keep a hand on my purse and bags while in the mall. I’d pay a little more attention than I otherwise might. But I will still go shopping, and open my door to the delivery man. (Actually I rarely open the door to my UPS man. I have a large, vocal dog, and the UPS man is a afraid of him. He drops the packages and runs! The regular mail lady says hi and pets him, he’s an attention hog and makes friends with everyone.)

  17. Ater December 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    The bathroom one pisses me off. My son (almost 4) had a desperate need to pee, and there was a line in the woman’s bathroom with only one functioning stall. So I sent him into the men’s room, alone. He came out a minute later, and said “a guy helped me wash my hands,” then waved at someone exiting behind him.

    I was really grateful, and posted online about how nothing scary happened. All of the responses were about how I should have shoved my way through the waiting line or announced myself going into the men’s room. And sure, they probably would have been understanding, but why would I need to do that? No sense in being rude to half a dozen other people because something might maybe happen.

  18. Joan December 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    A Christmas Story

    A careful relative sends a gift via FedEX that requires a signature, so it won’t be left on the porch to be stolen. The delivery person rings the bill, and has the police called on them. FedEx refuses to delivery there again.

    The package is now being held at the FedEx office for pickup. As you can’t drive at night, and it’s dark by 5 pm, you can’t go after work to pick it up.

    You rush over during your lunch hour, and find *horrors* the FedEx parking lot full of FedEx trucks and delivery vans. You spend 10 minutes trying to find a parking place NOT next to one of these death traps. You lock your car securely.

    You finally make your way inside, pick up the large package, and now stand there in the parking lot, stumped, on how to open the door without putting the package down. FedEx staff sees your dilemma, goes to help. You mace him/her because of “stranger danger”. Police are called, you are charged with assault.

    What a way to have a joyous Christmas!

  19. DrTorch December 20, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    •Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

    Surprised you didn’t bold that one. Extra cautious…in one of the friendliest towns in the US, even as you go to deliver cookies or a card to your neighbor. Sure thing.

    Our power went out on Sun evening. Had to unhook electric garage door to get car out. We went out to eat dinner, entire house essentially unlocked. *shrug* But then I don’t live on the mean streets of Fishers.

  20. AmyO December 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    I don’t understand the “never carry a purse or wallet” one. Are you supposed to walk around with loose credit cards and wads of cash in your pocket to fall out? Then you will need to report lost cards.

    And I agree with the poster who mused that online shopping is the only answer since you can’t go out after dark and carry packages to your car–but then you can’t accept deliveries without a police escort first since the courier is a stranger. There really is no simple solution at all.

  21. Dienne December 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    I actually wish more people would follow that advice about not parking next to vans. It would save my van so many nicks and dings.

  22. Eric the Half-bee December 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    But, I drive a minivan with tinted windows. (Just try to find one without that feature! Thank goodness we traded the white one for a black one though, amirite?) Should I not park the sedan next to the minivan anymore? Please, I need an authority figure to tell me the right move!

  23. Betsy in Michigan December 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    I always figure when I find currency bills on the floor of a store, it’s because they were stuffed into someone’s POCKET, (because I’ve dropped bills that way, and had to tell other people they’ve done that) instead of a wallet where they belong.

  24. Yocheved December 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Joan, your Christmas story had me laughing SO hard! You really have a talent for writing.

    You did forget about the guy pressing assault charges against you for macing him, and you spending the rest of the holiday in county jail. You couldn’t pay bail, because they only take cash, not credit cards or checks. 😉

  25. Yocheved December 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    *blush* I just re-read your post, and you did mention going to jail. I was too busy laughing, and missed that line.

    My comment about bail still stands though, because you were only carrying a small amount of cash on you (in your front pocket, of course.)

  26. Heather December 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Can you imagine if every resident of the town started calling 911 every time their door rang? That police department would be forced to issue new guidelines FAST.

  27. that mum December 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    •Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

    Really, so when I run out to the car—need to lock all doors and windows?

  28. Bella December 20, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    I guess Christmas caroling is out then (unless done in the daylight without knocking on doors.) And don’t drop by the new neighbors with a a platter of holiday treats. Since they don’t know you, a SWAT team will have to be called.

  29. Paul December 20, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    @Bella: A convenient way for people who don’t like carolers to get rid of them :p

    And those cookies! If we’ve learned anything from Halloween advice, it’s not to accept home made items. The cookies might have sodium chloride in them and if they’re struck by lightning there’s the tiniest chance all the sodium ions will fly away and explode, and then release the chlorine!

  30. BL December 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

    ” How can anyone be expected to develop a realistic perspective on risk?”

    Avoid attending the Police Academy?

  31. Jennifer Griffin December 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Maybe they are trying to justify their budget.

  32. Kirsten December 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    “You know, decent people are going to have to work here and live somewhere else” – Death Wish (1974.)

  33. K December 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    @Beth I assume that if you’re dressed nicely instead of casually, people will assume you are well-to-do and thieves will target you to steal your money and nice things.

    My favorite was keeping the windows closed while *in or out* of the car. Fresh air is dangerous, now, too? It’s not enough that playing outside or walking places is dangerous, now you can’t even be trusted to get a teeny tiny smidgeon of fresh air while in a vehicle!

  34. The other Mandy December 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    Two strangers came to my door yesterday evening after dark, collecting money for an organization they purportedly belong to. Now I’m sure they were using my holiday generosity to increase their “sales”.

    It was cold out, so I invited them inside while I got cash from my wallet.

    I guess I should have called 911. But then those Brownies wouldn’t bring me any Girl Scout cookies.

  35. Dot December 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    My favorite is “Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.”

    I keep telling grandma not to climb the tree!

  36. Momof8 December 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    If everyone were that careful, they wouldn’t need the police except in cases where they need to report someone breaking one of these rules. The police department could offer merits to those who, say, report their neighbor for leaving “for just a few minutes” without locking all doors and windows on all houses and cars. It will be a utopian police state. I’m imagining shiny happy people in matching outfits not waving to each other.

  37. donald December 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    When a problem occurs, a bureaucracy is put in place to address that problem. It does it’s job and therefore the problem goes away. However, the bureaucracy is still there. They have to keep providing solutions to problems that don’t exist.

    Safety Advice Dispensers (SAD) are employed to dispense advice. This is why the world will never be safe enough. (according to them) They are employed to provide solutions to problems that don’t exist. They will keep doing this until their over zealous actions create a different problem.

    Anxiety and depression is a well known problem. A couple of post ago, I had a rant about domestic violence. I did this to point out a VERY common problem that often comes from Anxiety/depression. The fear hysteria has a lot to do with it. Therefore theses Safety Advice Dispensers are actually CREATING danger!

    http://www.freerangekids.com/attempted-luring-overreacting/

  38. Papilio December 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    Must be nice to live in a free country!
    Seriously, this is no way to live. Call 911 and tell them, what? ‘Someone I don’t recognize just rang my doorbell. … Oh wait, it’s Lenore, she’s wearing bootcuts.’

    JND: “What else do you expect from pigs?”

    To tell people not to eat pork…?

    PJH: “…well-lighted area…”

    Well *lit” area.”

    Thank you! I actually wondered about that (‘…or is that British English? Or am I just confusing it with something else altogether?’).

    “No, seriously – if they’ve solved all the crime such that they need to compose such error ridden prose such as this to garner more need for their services, I wonder why people aren’t asking for their taxes to be lowered since they’re no longer needed as much…”
    Spend it on the local schools instead…

  39. Anna December 20, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    Yes, these are absurd, but to be fair, paranoia is an inevitable occupational hazard of law-enforcement, isn’t it? After all, they mainly interact with their fellow human-beings when something bad has just happened. The handful of cops I’ve known personally share this sense that 99% of human beings are scary, evil, and dangerous, but I don’t think it’s really their fault; their job does that to them. So perhaps the rest of us should just smile, nod kindly, and get on with our lives.

  40. BL December 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

    “Yes, these are absurd, but to be fair, paranoia is an inevitable occupational hazard of law-enforcement, isn’t it? After all, they mainly interact with their fellow human-beings when something bad has just happened”

    Do funeral directors assume everyone just died?

  41. donald December 20, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    It’s amazingly obvious that this list is stupid. However, I would like to analyze it more in depth.

    I wonder how many tax dollars were spent in order to compile this list? At a guess, I’ll say $100,000 was spent to a consultancy. Another guess is that nobody actually requested this list or thought that it was needed. It was purchased as a rubber stamp requirement. $X amount must be spent per year on investigating safety. If this is true, I wonder how many other useless projects were purchased Nationwide?

    I’ll guess 10 million spent. (remember the bullet proof white board shields for teachers?)

    Also, did you see the movie, ‘The Big Short?’ In it Brad Pitt states that for every 1% that unemployment increases, 40,000 people die per year. I don’t agree that it’s as high as that. However I’m sure that there are 1,000’s of more deaths. This money would be better spent on helping to improve the economy. Also, I wonder how many people can be saved if we spend this 10 million on hospital beds?

    What is the priority of Safety advice Dispenser? (SAD) Is their priority about safety or is their priority to justify their existence?

    I actually like this list. It’s very informative but I’m not talking about the safety information on it. I’m talking about how useless it is and how much money is squandered in the interest of feeding the Safety Industrial Complex.

  42. elizabeth December 20, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    On the dont carry a wallet or purse thing…am i supposed to go to work with no food money? Also, im on my period (tmi, i know). How will i carry the necessary items if i can only have pockets

  43. Hittman December 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Considering that the police are violent, brutal, and unaccountable, and kill three or four of us every day, you should call 911 approximately never.

  44. SKL December 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

    Well, about half of those were useful for me when I was working until the wee hours in the inner city.

    I would say about half of the advice above is good to know *if* your instincts tell you something is off.

    The other half is just plain cuckoo. 😛

    If I refused to open doors for strangers, my kids wouldn’t get some of their Christmas presents.

    And if we only shopped during daylight hours – at the darkest time of year – anyone working during business hours would be out of luck. The stores would go out of business and crime would be on the rise! Sorry, Friendlyville!

  45. SKL December 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    I’m guessing they copied this from someplace where it’s actually dangerous to hang out with money and purchases.

  46. Jessica December 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

    Anna
    Yes, you are very right. My mother was a social worker, and for a lot of her career she was investigating child abuse cases. Which meant that like 80% of the people she saw in any given day were either being abused, or were abusers. It did make her paranoid– I remember her requiring my father to chaperone my brother on overnight church trips, lest my brother get molested by a teacher. Sounds crazy, but in her professional life, ALL the boys and girls were getting molested!

  47. Stephanie F December 20, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    I can’t imagine living like that. I’ll admit, it’s much nicer shopping without my kids than with, but not enough to make it worth hiring a sitter. Good thing they’re old enough to stay home alone now.

    I’m just trying to picture mall or store security dealing with so many requests for escorts.

  48. lollipoplover December 20, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Last year, late at night on Christmas Eve (kids were in bed, my husband I were ready to get to our Santa work) our doorbell rang. We know everyone on our street, except for one couple (older, no children). We answered the door. It was the unknown neighbors! They brought us a gift from Puerto Rico, RUM! While they were away, it had snowed quite a bit and my husband who plows noticed their driveway untouched for days, so he plowed it. They thanked us for the favor, and our Christmas Eve was made by their nice gesture and some shots after our work was done.
    And now we know every neighbor on our street.

    Don’t read these lists. Meet your neighbors. Be aware, but not paranoid. Most people are good. Don’t let a few rotten apples taint your perspective.

  49. CrazyCatLady December 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

    UPS dropped off a box at my friend’s house last weekend. They saw UPS, but they were in the middle of doing something. So…they let the box sit for about 5 minutes. While it was sitting, a person in a RED mini-van came up and stole the box. (Not a white creepy van.) Had they just gotten the box when UPS came…they could have installed the new faucet for their sink. But instead, the dog is in the doghouse because he didn’t bark when the person in the van stole their box.

  50. hineata December 21, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    I nearly wet myself laughing, reading this list. Isn’t THAT hazardous to my health and welfare? And what are the Fisher police going to do about that?

    This reminds me of visiting my brother in Issaquah last year. Most upmarket, safe neighborhood I’ve ever seen, and my brother was worried we’d get robbed walking around Walmart….it’s a mental illness, all this paranoia.

    It’s summer down here, of course, and the native Christmas trees are blooming well. All my windows are open as much as possible, and all the doors. If the delivery guy wants to nick something, so be it – too hot to worry ☺.

  51. sexhysteria December 21, 2016 at 3:32 am #

    I advise kids to always call 911 even when someone they know knocks on the door.

  52. Katie G December 21, 2016 at 6:14 am #

    just the headline makes me mad. his is why we hae no neighbors or real community- we hae taken away the starting point to getting to know anyone by frowning upon teying to meet people.

  53. Roger the Shrubber December 21, 2016 at 7:03 am #

    I doubt business owners and their employees are too keen on the police discouraging customers from visiting their establishments during 1/3 of their business hours.

  54. intlreader December 21, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    April Fool’s in December ? i don’t know which one gets the prize…

    •Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. Cars with tinted windows could be undercover police cars, that’s right. They would probably pounce if IN ADDITION you leave your dog alone in the car.

    •If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located near a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. There is an App for that

    •Dress casually and comfortably. Only for shopping ? or are we allowed to dress casually and comfortably in other cases ?

    •Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible. Where would I hold those ? in my casual dress or pants pockets ? (remember i cannot carry a wallet)

    •Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you. Can the store clerk be male ? can s/he wear tinted glasses ?

    At Home

    ••Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green. Nice one. About the only one not about safety , nice to think of our mute fellow Earth-dwellers

    Strangers at Your Door

    •Residents should NEVER open the door to a stranger.If the stranger pretends to be the Police, ask for 3 means of identification.

  55. Gina December 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    JND:
    Really? What purpose does this comment serve?

  56. Emily December 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    So, I guess the old Christmas carol “Here We Go A-Wassailing” is now obsolete……but maybe I can fix it:

    Here we go, a-paranoid
    Of visiting the mall!
    We can’t park next to white vans,
    Or shop after nightfall,
    “Safety first” is the word,
    We’re so safe that it’s absurd,
    And God Bless you, but stay away,
    Or we’ll call 911
    Stay away, or we’re calling 911!

    You’re not our friendly neighbours,
    We know, who live next door–
    You must be vicious killers
    We’ve never seen before!
    “Safety first” is the word,
    We’re so safe that it’s absurd,
    And God Bless you, but stay away,
    Or we’ll call 911
    Stay away, or we’re calling 911!

    Good TV News and Internet,
    Who feed us all our fear!
    If not for paranoia,
    Who knows if we’d be here?
    “Safety first” is the word,
    We’re so safe that it’s absurd,
    And God Bless you, but stay away,
    Or we’ll call 911
    Stay away, or we’re calling 911!

    We only carry credit cards,
    And never cheques or cash!
    All strangers are pickpockets,
    So trusting would be rash!
    “Safety first” is the word,
    We’re so safe that it’s absurd,
    And God Bless you, but stay away,
    Or we’ll call 911
    Stay away, or we’re calling 911!

    Bring us out our children
    Directly to our car!
    For, even though they’re school-aged,
    They cannot walk that far!
    “Safety first” is the word,
    We’re so safe that it’s absurd,
    And God Bless you, but stay away,
    Or we’ll call 911
    Stay away, or we’re calling 911!

    God Bless the mighty media,
    And sanctimommies too!
    If not for all their rumours,
    We’d know not what to do!
    “Safety first” is the word,
    We’re so safe that it’s absurd,
    And God Bless you, but stay away,
    Or we’ll call 911
    Stay away, or we’re calling 911!

  57. LGB December 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    “Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the bathroom.”

    As a mother of boys, I can’t stand this one. Our local rec center FORBIDS boys 6 and over from going into the ladies’ restroom and locker room. (So what then? Have them pee on the indoor ficus tree?)

    We moms can’t win. “NO, NO, NO!!! DON’T LET THEM IN THE MEN’S ROOM! THERE’S PERVS IN THERE!” Or we get to hear: “NO! DON’T SEND HIM INTO THE LADIES’ ROOM, YOU PERVERT!”

  58. LGB December 21, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    @ Emily, brilliant!

  59. AmyO December 21, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    Emily, AMAZING SONG! 😀 😀

  60. JJ December 21, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    Are we talking about Christmas, or Life During Wartime?

  61. JJ December 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

    Wow Emily! That’s great.

  62. Cameron M. December 22, 2016 at 12:22 am #

    I became convinced long ago that the police do not want anyone out and about after dark, period!

  63. James December 22, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    The “Strangers at your door” thing made me chuckle in a grim, sad way.

    When I was in kindergarden I was inside eating breakfast while my mother was outside weeding the garden. Some strangers pulled up and knocked on the door. I opened it and they asked if my mother was around. I said “Yes, she’s out back.” I refused to let them in the house (remember, I’m 5 and this is a group of adults I’d never met), but they went around the side of the house.

    Turns out they were my mother’s cousins, who were in the area for the first time in….well, my lifetime, and decided to take the opportunity to visit with her. I learned about a wonderful tradition, where a butterfly picture in the window meant that the house was inviting people to stop by and chat (not sure if it’s true or not, never looked into it past that day, but it’s stuck with me). And I met a bunch of relatives, which is always fun.

    This police department wants to criminalize that wonderful event.

    There’s a name for this sort of thing: The clinician fallacy. Doctors in clinics only see the worst possible expressions of any disease. So they start to believe that those are the normal symptoms–their baseline shifts to account for the data they are receiving. So when they discuss the disease, they only discuss the worst-case scenario, because that’s what they experience. Similarly, cops only investigate crimes–so their sense of normal shifts, and they start to believe that crime is a huge problem when in fact it’s going DOWN. Unfortunately, most people don’t appear able to draw their own conclusions; they accept the view the cops provide as a real presentation of the situation.

  64. Neil M December 22, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    “Don’t drive alone or at night.”

    Or on streets where you might encounter other cars. Or on days when it might rain. Or not be sunny. And make sure you bring along a gun, twelve hundred rounds of ammunition, two weeks’ food and water, three mobile phones (in case the first two malfunction), and a horse with saddle, in case the car breaks down and the tow will take more than 30 minutes.

  65. brian December 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    These repeated warnings about packages being stolen also must be sponsored by UPS and Amazon. I certainly dont lose if someone steals my packages. Amazon sends another or Amex wont pay. Not my problem. The big corporations must be using the cops to get press releases out that encourage people to make sure not to leave packages out just to avoid this cost of doing business.

  66. KJ December 23, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    I am shocked you didn’t highlight this line: “If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.”
    When are small children allowed to leave the home?

  67. Beth December 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

    And since when is it appropriate to leave your child with ANYONE? There’s no such thing as a trusted babysitter any more.

  68. Mallo December 24, 2016 at 5:39 am #

    What better way to keep them entertained than to call them when your new stranger-neighbors come knocking on your front door to introduce themselves?