By Tracy Basterrechea, Meridian Police
Christmas and the New Year are quickly approaching. This is a very festive time of year and we want it to be a positive holiday season for our community. With that we would like to offer this tip: Please, please, please remember to lock your vehicles. We deal with a great deal of vehicle burglaries and the vast majority of them are the results of unlocked cars. If we would all take a few seconds to make sure our vehicles are locked, yes even in our own driveways, we would deter a large number of vehicle burglaries. Also don't forget to lock your packages and valuables in your trunk when you are out shopping. Make sure you keep your valuables out of sight.
On a more positive note, I would like to tout the achievements and work of our Officers and our Impact Team. This Team was formed with the help of a federal COPS grant. We developed this team to help us focus on quality of life issues in our neighborhoods and on specific crimes which are causing our community problems. Some of these issues and crimes include things like burglaries, drugs, vandalisms, etc.. In the last three months our Team has served search warrants and made several arrests for burglaries and arrests. This includes the recent arrests of four people and seizure of 34 pounds of marijuana and $1,000.00 in U.S. currency. Our Officers are also currently working very credible leads in other burglaries, which include the burglary of a local church.
The Impact Team was designed to make a difference and in the short time they have been operating they are showing a great deal of promise. If you have a problem or a tip for the Impact Team you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meridian Police Department is also pleased to announce our participation in Alive at 25. Alive at 25 is a 4 ½ hour educational course developed by the National Safety Council and instructed by law enforcement. Knowing that vehicle crashes are the number 1 killer of teens, this course is designed to help young drivers become defensive drivers. The first course was held on December 10, 2011 and was a great success. To find enroll at future classes go to http://aliveat25.us/id/location-info?id=320.
The Meridian Police Department anticipates offering Alive at 25 classes a twice a month. The class is intended for drivers between the ages of 15 to 24.
Some quick facts about young drivers:
Ø In Idaho, there were 43 young adults 15-24 years old killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2009.
Ø Of those Idaho young drivers or passengers in motor vehicles killed during 2009, only 29% were wearing a seatbelt.
Ø Nationwide, seatbelt usage for 16-24 year olds is the lowest for any age group.
Ø Studies have shown that when young drivers are involved in crashes, it is the result of one or more of the following:
Ø Lack of awareness of risk-taking behaviors and their consequences
Ø Impaired driving Speeding
Funding for Alive at 25 is provided by the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety.
For more information visit http://aliveat25.us/.
Please have a Merry Christmas and a safe Holiday Season!
Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea