CPD helps business owners prevent crime on their property
You see property crimes in the news almost daily, but those are only the ones caught on camera. In fact, many crimes at local businesses are not known because they were not equipped with the right tools to protect their property.
For the fifth year, the Chattanooga Police Department hosted a free class to help business owners in the area prevent crime.
It's designed to equip business decision-makers with the knowledge to make their employees and facilities more safe and secure.
"I was approached by Chief Roddy and Chief Roddy has taken a very proactive stance on crime deterrence and crime prevention," said Chris Jones.
Jones works with UT's Law Enforcement Innovation Center, traveling the world to help educate businesses and organizations. He focuses on crime prevention, deterrence, and enhancing emergency procedures.
"Are the procedures within a company or organization in place and are they being used the way they are supposed to be used? Are employees being held accountable for violations of those procedures?" he said.
In the class, attendees learn about the four components of security and how to best apply them to their specific situations. This includes, making sure businesses understand the physical, environmental, electrical and procedural aspects of crime prevention.
"You can have the most expensive door ever in the history of the world right? But if you don't have procedures in place that say 'the door should remain closed,' and it's open all the time, then you just wasted a bunch of money on a very expensive door," Jones explained.
In 2017, the FBI says there were more than 7.5 million property crime offenses in the nation.
The Federation of Small Businesses said many businesses have made an effort to improve their security over the last decade. More than 40% of businesses have installed or upgraded a security system to protect their property.
“By empowering our business community with the tools and knowledge to better protect their places of business, employees, and themselves we are making our city a safer place for our community members and visitors to shop, visit, and play” said Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy.
Jones said property crime evolves and it's important for people to make sure they know what to look out for.
"Make sure you are conducting security and vulnerability assessments of your facility and make sure those are evaluated at least annually, preferably bi-annually or even quarterly," Jones said.
If you would like to see if your property could use a checkup, the Chattanooga Police Department offers a free crime prevention assessment.
Someone from the department will let you know where you can improve.