Police have advice for avoiding crime

Local police departments, Pierce County Community Connections Aging and Disability Resources, and Safe Streets, an anti-crime community group, will host a series of public presentations on ways that people can help maintain their personal safety.
The free events are scheduled for:
• Sept. 14 at Lakewood Police Department, 9401 Lakewood Dr. SW., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Sept. 15 at Tacoma Police Department, 3701 S. Pine St., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Sept. 16 at Gig Harbor City Hall, 3510 Grandview St., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Sept. 17 at Sumner Senior Center, 15506 62nd St. Court E., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Sept. 19 at the Graham branch of Pierce County Library System, 9202 224th St. E., from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Seniors and people with disabilities are often targeted by criminals “for quick gain with less risk” of being caught, said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “But people can take some simple steps to improve personal safety both at home and in the community.”
While prime time television and other media constantly exaggerate violent crime, it is nevertheless a serious problem. Nationally the ratio of property crime to violent crime was higher for the elderly (13 to 1) than for younger persons ages 25 to 49 (3 to 1). The rates of violent crime (3.6 per 1,000 persons) and property crime (72.3 per 1,000) against elderly persons remain high. In addition, the rate of violent victimization for persons with disabilities (36 per 1,000) was more than twice the age-adjusted rate for persons without disabilities (14 per 1,000).
The five presentations scheduled in September will be presented by officers from the Lakewood, Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Sumner Police Departments as well as the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center. Participants will receive practical tips for personal safety, hear about crime in their neighborhoods and understand how best to interact with local police.
The event is free and no RSVP is required. For additional information about “Making it Safe at Home,” call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.