Fall 2013

Ways our KCPD security patrol is making the neighborhood safer

i Sep 8th No Comments by

Due to the increase of suspicious activity in our area in late August, our KCPD security patrol added a few extra shifts to offer more coverage.

The security patrol has also begun a month-long traffic enforcement effort several times a week at different locations where we have complaints. During the first day, the officer stopped seven cars and issued 10 tickets and one warning.

Also during August, a KCPD security patrol officer observed the back door ajar on a house where the resident had requested our vacation house watch service. Two officers checked the house to make sure everything was normal. Upon being contacted afterwards by the security patrol, here’s what the homeowner had to say:

“Thank you! The alarm company called me because the alarm went off when the door was opened. After the door was closed, I remotely locked it and re-secured the alarm system. I appreciate the heads up!”

The WPHA can provide paid security while you’re away from home

i Aug 9th No Comments by

Guest post by WPHA resident Jim Anderson

The picture above from our Ring camera shows the police checking on our house while we were out of town. I always request the Ward Parkway Homes Association’s vacation house watch service every time we are gone more than just a couple days.

You can get access to this protection by becoming a member of our homes association and supporting the KCPD security patrol service. It is a wonderful thing to know your home is being watched by the “good guys.”

When I am home working in my office, I frequently look out the window and see marked or unmarked police cruisers going down our street. Our neighborhood takes security seriously enough to pay for off-duty officers to spend hours each week patroling our streets to watch for patterns and deter property crimes. A regular police presence sends would-be criminals elsewhere to prey on easier targets. I love seeing officers in our neighborhood. And I value the benefit of having them monitor my home for suspicious activity when I’m away.

The concern I have is that there are not enough paying neighbors to continue our security patrol service. I would hate for the WPHA to lose out to other neighborhoods who are on the waiting list for a security patrol service. Please review the information consider joining. Our KCPD security patrol is covered through the end of the year and can continue if we get enough paying members.

If you are a already a WPHA member, thank you so much. If you are a member but have not not opted to support the security patrol in the past, please join me and others in helping to keep our homes safe and protected.

The WPHA’s security patrol service ensures that we have a regular police presence than the understaffed Kansas City Police Department can otherwise provide in such a large city. This service, when combined with personal security cameras and watchful neighbors, helps keep property crimes in our neighborhood among the lowest in the city. And that’s the way we want to keep it!

Ring camera screenshot of police officer on front porch

 

 

Going on vacation? Don’t make these common home security mistakes

i Jun 6th No Comments by

When leaving for a summer vacation, protecting your home is just as important as protecting the items you bring with you. Be sure to take the necessary steps to give you peace of mind while you’re away. Here are some frequent mistakes to avoid.

Hiding a spare key outside the home

Homeowners often hide spare keys around their houses, whether inside a fake rock, in a nearby plant or under the welcome mat. Because this is so commonplace, most burglars can easily find the hidden key, which makes breaking into your home quite simple. Instead, opt to keep a house key in a safer place, such as with a trusted neighbor, family member or friend.

Announcing your vacation on social media

It’s well known that you shouldn’t advertise vacations online (or anywhere, for that matter) before taking off on your trip. Don’t even post social media status updates while still on vacation. But maybe even more important is double-checking your social media accounts to make sure your address is not readily available to anyone seeking it. Delete past posts, party invites or events that may include your phone number as well. It’s easy to do a quick Google search and link a phone number to an address.

Not keeping up with your normal outside maintenance or routine

If you typically park your car in your driveway when you’re home, ask your neighbor if he/she would mind parking their car in your driveway while you’re away. This will give the appearance that someone is home. Keep up on regular home maintenance. Do you normally have a gardener maintain your lawn and landscaping? Weekly visits from the pool guy? Keep these schedules. If you do your own lawn work, hire it out or recruit family or friends to help while you’re gone.

Have a neighbor retrieve your recycling bin on trash day. If any potential thief is staking out houses, they’ll notice if something is off.

Letting mail, newspapers or packages pile up

One easy way to tell if someone isn’t home is to just notice the pile of newspapers on the front lawn or the overflow of mail pouring from the mailbox. Suspending your mail service or having a trusted neighbor pick up your mail is a great way to deter thieves.

Forgetting to lock windows and doors before you leave

As simple as this sounds, sometimes people forget to double check that every door and window in their home is locked and secure before they head out on a trip. About 30-35% of all home break-ins in the U.S. take place through an open door or window.

Keeping your house in the dark

Installing outdoor light with sensors or motion activation is always recommended for general home security. While you are away, using timers or other smart home lighting systems on interior lamps/lights will give the impression that someone is home and could deter unwanted guests.


 

Did you know?

The WPHA private security patrol comprised of retired and off-duty KCPD officers will check your house, doors, locks, windows and yard while you are on vacation and contact you if anything looks suspicious. Peace of mind while on vacation is priceless! Make sure you support this add-on service to get access to the vacation patrol benefit.

EXTENDED: Take advantage of mid-year membership drive discount

i May 10th No Comments by

Great news, neighbors! The WPHA Membership Committee is conducting its first ever mid-year membership drive during May through June. For a limited time, we have discounted the price of a homes association membership plus security patrol dues from $110 to just $75 — a savings of 32%.

Our KCPD security patrol service is the single biggest line item in the WPHA budget. We partner with nearby homes associations to pay for patrol by off-duty KCPD police officers. They help deter and respond to property crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery and vandalism. It makes the entire neighborhood safer and, for participating members, it provides security checkups on your home while you are out of town.

We want to maintain our valuable security patrol service at its current level. To do that, we need your help! We need you to become a member and support the security patrol.

You’ve been thinking about joining the WPHA. Now is the time! Take advantage of the significant mid-year membership drive discount so our entire neighborhood can continue to enjoy the benefits of the added security that regular police patrols provides our neighborhood.

To access the special discount, follow these simple steps:

  • Visit the Become a Member or Renew your Membership page.
  • Scroll down to the Pay Online section of the page.
  • Select the “PRORATED: Annual Membership Dues + Security Patrol Service” option in the Membership Options drop-down menu.
  • Click “Pay Now” and enter your payment information.

If you prefer to pay by check, send payment to:

Ward Parkway Homes Association
P.O. Box 140083, Kansas City, MO 64114

Security patrol has made our neighborhood safer. Its regular presence helps keep crime rates low and drives would-be criminals out of our area. And remember, security patrol supporters enjoy the added benefit of having officers monitor your home when you are away. This extra peace of mind is a major benefit only available to our neighborhood when we participate in the security patrol service through the KCPD.

The mid-year membership drive will end June 30, 2019.  Join or renew today to take advantage of discounted pricing!

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While the lights were off, the generosity of neighbors shone brightly

i Jan 22nd No Comments by

thermometer sticking out of snowGuest post by WPHA resident Linetta Thurman

Like many of you in the WPHA, we lost power in January following a major winter storm. It wasn’t long before several neighbors across the street who still had power offered us coffee to warm up, their Wi-Fi and TV to catch up, and their couches to rest up — even for the night! Within minutes of our power coming on, those same neighbors notified the residents on our block of the good news so those who were away could return home. Your care and generosity was appreciated. I love this neighborhood!

Neighbors were not the only ones looking out for us during the snow storm. Our neighborhood security patrol (of retired and off-duty KCPD officers) knew about power outages in the area, and they patrolled our streets more frequently and reassigned shifts so that those of us without power wouldn’t become victims of crime. This is just one more reason why I support and fund our neighborhood security patrol. I encourage you to do the same.

Piece of mind for $5 a month

i Dec 6th No Comments by

Guest post by WPHA resident B. Michael McFarland

B. Michael McFarland photo

B. Michael McFarland

When we moved into the neighborhood, we joined the Ward Parkway Homes Association (WPHA) but did not subscribe to the security patrol service because we didn’t understand what it was for. We never seemed to see the patrol.

Then two things happened.

First: a neighbor got a dog and started walking that dog at night, after 10 p.m., and reported seeing patrol several times at night. We weren’t seeing patrol because we are not outside walking the neighborhood after 10 p.m., but my neighbor said he felt much safer seeing those patrols.

Second: We attended one of the monthly WPHA Board of Directors meetings. A sergeant from the Kansas City Police Department attended to deliver a report, and I learned that no resident that paid for the security patrol and requested a vacation house check this year has had their home broken into while they were away. Not only that, but a crime report the sergeant brought showed that the WPHA is actually one of the safest neighborhoods in the area. We learned how often the security patrol happens, and that it is deliberately scheduled at various times throughout the day and night based on what’s happening in the area.

It used to be that the WPHA security patrol officers often traveled in unmarked cars to be less conspicuous. Under the new sergeant’s watch, all the off-duty officers use marked KCPD vehicles and have a more visible presence.

Now we know why felt like we never seemed to see patrol officers in the neighborhood. They were unmarked. They patrolled at constantly changing times of day. And they were frequently present while we were inside instead of outside our house.

The WPHA’s security patrol service costs $60 a year. That breaks down to $5 per month. I spend more than that on one drink at Starbucks.

I encourage any of you who don’t participate in security patrol to do so. For the price of one Frappuccino a month, you can have greater peace of mind that your property will be safe when you leave town. And the security patrol’s property crime deterrence has a positive impact on the whole neighborhood.