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This article is published in the June 4 edition of the Santan Sun News.

June 10, 2016

Chandler PD Crime Prevention Unit encourages residents to be the eyes and ears of their neighborhood

Social media links residents with neighbors, crime prevention resources

Chandler Police Officers Robin Attwood and Tina BalsewiczChandler is a relatively safe community, but that doesn’t mean residents can let down their guard. In fact, bad guys often are counting on people feeling so safe that they don’t take all the precautions they should to protect their cars, homes and belongings.

“Right now, Chandler is experiencing an increase in the volume of calls for property-related crimes,” said Officer Tina Balsewicz, a member of the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit. “We shouldn’t have to worry about being victims of property crimes, but unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Everyone should take proactive steps to harden their personal security stance.”

Beyond the personal concerns, it’s also vital to the community that everyone acts as the eyes and ears of their neighborhood, reporting suspicious or unusual activity to the proper authorities. A national campaign of the Homeland Security Department – “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” – is supported by Chandler PD.
Encouraging this sense of individual and collective responsibility among neighbors is one of the main goals of Chandler’s three crime prevention officers, one crime prevention specialist and one sergeant who make up the Crime Prevention Unit.

“Our mission is to foster a safer community, and, to do that, we build bridges between residents, neighborhood associations, schools, businesses and the Police Department,” said Officer Robin Atwood.

The Unit still uses traditional methods to encourage cooperation and enhance communication, such as block watch programs, fliers on doors, and increased officer patrols, but with the popularity of social media, they have some new tools that help them connect with the public.

“People are logging into Facebook and
Nextdoor and sharing information and warnings about criminal activity with their friends and neighbors,” Atwood said. “We try to monitor Nextdoor and Facebook groups, like Ocotillo Friends, but we may not see everything, so it’s very important that people contact the Police Department if they have concerns or questions and not just post something online.”

Nextdoor is a neighborhood social app used by the City of ChandlerAsked what Chandler residents can do to make an immediate impact on crime, Balsewicz and Atwood repeated the mantra they want everyone to remember: Lock it or lose it.

“Approximately 75 percent of all burglaries occur through an unsecured door, window or garage,” Balsewicz noted. “They gain easy access and grab what is readily available, such as a purse on a car seat, laptop in the backseat, golf clubs or lawn equipment in the garage, or valuables in the house. Do not make it easier for them. Remove all your valuables and lock your doors!”

All three Crime Prevention Officers – Atwood, Balsewicz and Officer Dan Chavarria – are ready to assist residents in all areas of crime prevention, including personal safety, senior safety, workplace violence prevention, robbery prevention, drugs, home security and identity theft, to name a few. If you would like to schedule a presentation for your group, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit at least three weeks prior to the date you would like them to speak. Presentations are free of charge. Contact information and additional crime suppression resources are available through the CPD website,, or by calling 480-782-4960.


Lock It or Lose It Campaign:

The message is simple:
  • Lock It: Lock your vehicle every time you leave it!
  • Hide It: Hide your valuables in your trunk, under the seats, in the glove box or other compartments within the vehicle. Ideally, take your property with you.
  • Keep It: Personal responsibility is the best prevention to safeguard personal property and to prevent being a victim.