City Notes: Grandview Heights counts on residents, businesses to help keep city safe
As the director of public safety for Grandview Heights, I often cite public safety as our top priority. We are fortunate to have two very capable chiefs leading our police and fire departments, both of whom assumed their positions during a year that affected their departments in unprecedented ways.
I am very proud of our first responders and the ways they go above and beyond to serve our community. However, even the best departments are challenged by threats to safety, and Grandview Heights is not immune. Our community has a reputation for being one of the safest in the area, and we want to do our part to ensure it remains so.
The media have shed light recently on a rise in the number of vehicle thefts, break-ins and robberies, several of them occurring in broad daylight. Bordering multiple other municipalities, we are not exempt from criminals traveling through our community or crime taking place within our city limits. However, there are a few simple things residents can do to prevent themselves and loved ones from becoming victims of these crimes.
First, do not leave a running car unattended. We understand it might be tempting to warm up a vehicle in the cold winter months, but unattended running vehicles can be a target. Additionally, do not leave valuables in a vehicle or leave a vehicle unlocked. Be aware of surroundings at all times, especially in parking lots. If residents see vehicles loitering in their neighborhood, they should call the police department.
One easy way to assist the police department in addressing criminal activity is by participating in their Security Camera Registry. Registration is open to any business or resident with a security camera and is completely free of charge. The purpose of the registry is to help police quickly address such issues as thefts, attempted thefts, suspicious activity, etc. By registering a property as having a camera, a resident or business owner will not be contacted by the police department for any reason other than if an incident or crime occurs at their property or in their neighborhood. Camera footage has been instrumental in solving numerous crimes in Grandview Heights and will provide police the ability to easily identify whom to contact if necessary. Enrollment in the registry is voluntary and does not provide the police department access to the owner’s security footage or home security system without consent. It simply is a database of where security cameras are in the event footage is needed from a particular location in relation to a law-enforcement investigation. To register, go to www.grandviewheights.gov and select Security Camera Registration under the ‘I’m Looking For…’ tab.
Finally, one of the best ways residents and business owners can assist our police is if they see a crime in progress, call 911. For suspicious activity, call the nonemergency line at 614-488-7901 or report concerns through the online forms available at www.grandviewheights.gov under the Division of Police.
Reporting immediate safety concerns through social media or other apps not monitored by police could delay someone getting needed assistance or compromise an investigation. We ask residents and business owners to continue being good neighbors and watching out for one another.
Greta Kearns is mayor of Grandview Heights.