Thanks to all who attended the Holmes Run Valley Citizens Association meeting Wednesday evening, 22 Feb 2017, at which Fairfax County Police Officer Eduardo Azcarate provided a briefing on neighborhood safety and security. He discussed ways for residents to protect their homes and property as well as means for effectively collaborating with neighbors and police to better protect our community. His handout listed a number of ways to interface with FCPD by phone and Internet. (The phone number for contacting FCPD in emergencies is 911. The non‑emergency number for the Mason District station is 703-256-8035; dial “0” for the front desk.)

At the end of the meeting, a number of residents felt that the association should participate in the FCPD Neighborhood Watch program, which provides citizens training in security awareness and appropriate means for supporting police protecting our neighborhoods. The program would NOT require us to patrol the neighborhood in our cars.  We all have cell phones and know the neighborhood norms. Just being observant and willing to report abnormalities in the daily neighborhood routine is all it takes. (Note added 2/18/2018: Subsequent to the 2/22/2017 meeting with FCPD, Jacke Zeiher polled the HRVCA community for interest in setting up a four-hour Neighborhood Watch training session. Interest was limited to only three or four people, and the subject was dropped.)

 Some highlights from Officer Azcarate’s briefing:

()  FCPD provides free home security assessments and recommendations at your request.

()  Keep your property well lit. Install outside lights, especially sensor-activated lights. Install inside lights that go on and off as if you were moving from room to room when you are away. Security cameras are an effective and reasonably affordable deterrent.

()  Lock car doors (and home doors) night and day. Report car break-ins online at or via the main FCPD non-emergency number (703-691-2131). Please also put a note on to alert neighbors.

() Report traffic violations and any suspicious activity to police on the main non-emergency number (703-691-2131). Suspicious activity includes, loitering, canvassing or soliciting that hasn’t been unauthorized by FFX County, cars circling or suspiciously parked, shot-like noises, etc. Record and report all the information you can but do not investigate or chase after violators. You may also request a police patrol for traffic enforcement.

()  Get to know your neighbors, talk with them, look in on them during bad weather, especially if they are elderly. Watch others’ homes and take in the mail and papers while they are away.

()  Read police reports and find police related information at the numbers and websites provided in the handout provided by Officer Azcarate.  You may be interested in attending monthly Citizens Advisory Council meetings at which you can address questions directly to the Mason District station commander, Capt. Thomas Rogers. The meetings are held at 7pm at the Mason District Police station on the first Tuesday of each month (except July and August).

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