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Friday, March 31, 2023

Focus on Safety – A Safer Naper starts with you


It’s often said that crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Ensuring a safe community requires a partnership between the police and the residents, businesses and visitors they protect. This month, the Naperville Police Department’s Safer Naper campaign teaches you how to partner with police by recognizing and reporting suspicious and criminal activity.

Knowing what is going on around you is one of the primary ways to keep yourself safe. By practicing “Situational Awareness,” you can help identify potential threats, criminal behavior and dangerous situations. To do this, be observant and keep your head up (instead of on your phone). Looking around enables you to be more alert and aware of your surroundings allowing you to take note of and report suspicious people or objects to 911. Remember, people are not suspicious; their behavior is.

Trusting your intuition is also a critically important part of situational awareness. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Your inner self has a way of alerting you to potential danger and you should trust it.

There are two ways to you can contact the Naperville Police Department to report suspicious or criminal behavior: calling or texting 911. Often residents are hesitant about calling 911 because they’re not sure if the circumstance warrants calling 911 or because they don’t want to “bother the police.”

Remember, 911 should be called for police, fire, or medical emergencies when immediate action is required. That means something is happening now or just happened and requires an officer to respond. If you aren’t sure if your situation is an emergency, you should err on the side of safety and call 911 and let the emergency dispatchers make the decision.

The City of Naperville is also now capable of accepting emergency texts to 911 from customers who have Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile/Sprint as their carrier. While a phone call is still preferred, individuals who need immediate assistance but can’t talk to a 911 dispatcher can text their exact location and nature of their emergency to 911 if they’re within the City of Naperville.

Social media is a common way many people communicate and is used to disseminate important information on various topics. Unfortunately, many are using it to post about crimes or suspicious activity instead of reporting those incidents to police. Remember, an incident cannot be investigated unless the police know about it. To report a crime, suspicious person or event, please call 911 rather than just posting about it.

To learn more information what qualifies as suspicious behavior and being aware of your surroundings, visit www.naperville.il.us/asafernaper.

Until next month… Stay Aware and Stay Safe.

Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.