A letter from DFC Menachem Green, FCP Orange County Sheriff's Office • Crime Prevention Unit • Sector Three
As we go about our daily activities we find ourselves running around town, whether it's dropping the kids off at school, heading to and from work, grabbing the groceries, or walking the dogs. Throughout our day we see many things happening around us, but how many of us find ourselves observing what is going on around us?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary "see" is defined as to notice or become aware of (someone or something) by using your eyes, whereas observe is defined as to watch and sometimes also listen to (someone or something) carefully. When it comes to noticing suspicious activity, the difference would be I saw a person going from house to house vs. I saw a person going from house to house, and then I saw him go to the side or back yard of a house and this is what he was wearing.
When reporting suspicious activity I often get asked what suspicious activity is. A few examples are, anyone forcibly entering a car or home, someone running from a home or through the neighborhood under unusual circumstances, someone carrying a weapon, a loiterer who doesn't belong in the area or is entering a neighbors private property, a person walking around the neighborhood with items that may be stolen, a person looking into cars or windows of residences, and strange vehicles parked in your area. A few other situations to observe and report would be someone climbing in or out of a window, broken windows, removed screens, people climbing fences, and people hiding from a passerby.
Remember, suspicious activity can be anything. Once you see something, observe it, and don't be too quick to rationalize your observations. Remember to trust your sixth sense, and contact the Sheriff's Office with your observations.
When contacting the Sheriff's Office be prepared to provide the location and a good description of person(s) and/or vehicle. When describing a person be prepared to provide an approximate height, weight, facial hair, race, sex, distinguishing marks such as piercings and tattoos, and clothing- anything that is distinguishing. When describing a vehicle provide as much information as possible such as the color, newer or older model, the make and model if possible, 4 door vs. 2 door, tint vs. no-tint, rims vs. hubcaps, vehicle damage, and the tag if possible. If you cannot make out the tag number its ok, but try to take note if it's a specialty tag, or perhaps an out of state tag. All of this information is helpful.
Please remember that your safety is first, be the eyes and ears, back away if you observe something suspicious or criminal, and contact the Orange County Sheriff's Office at 911 for emergencies, and at 407-836-HELP (4357) for non-emergencies.
Have a great weekend,
DFC Menachem Green, FCPP Orange County Sheriff's Office • Crime Prevention Unit • Sector Three Office: 407-254-6805 • firstname.lastname@example.org