National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
Meet Your Ridgefield Police
- Remove valuables from and a lock your vehicles.
- Call 311 or 911 when you need an officer to respond to your incident. Call 311 for non-emergency and 911 when there is an emergency. Only call the Police Department number, 360-887-3556, for administrative purposes.
- Get to know your neighbors. Exchange phone numbers and communicate regularly.
Neighbors on Watch is a volunteer program where citizen volunteers assist the police department with events, crime prevention, and keeping an eye on their neighborhood and other areas of the city that have experienced some sort of disorder or criminal activity.
The program involves about 20 hours of training including a background check and a ride along with the police. Afterward, the group volunteers for certain missions and looks for opportunities to help create a safe community.
If you are interested, please call the Police Department 360-887-3556 or email Chief Brooks.
Print and color our National Night Out coloring page! When finished, tape the coloring page in your front window for all to see.
Turn on Your Lights
This National Night Out, light up your neighborhood by turning on your porch lights to support community and neighborhood safety.
Help create a safer and more secure neighborhood. Research has shown that lighting is an effective deterrent to criminal activity by increasing the feeling of surveillance or perception that ‘people are watching.’
Simply turn your porch lights ON nightly from dusk to dawn, and encouraging those on your block to do the same.
To conserve energy and reduce costs, we encourage you to install ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in front porch light fixtures.
Benefits of Leaving Your Porch Light On
- Creates a lived-in and welcoming appearance to your home.
- Increases the perception of safety to residents and visitors.
- Reduces the opportunity for criminal activity and inappropriate street behavior.
- Enhances the appearance of your neighborhood at night by adding ambient lighting.
Porch Light Safety Tips
- Always keep the area around your doors and windows well lit.
- Install a wire basket around any outdoor light bulbs so they cannot be removed or damaged.
- Place a sticker by the light switch to serve as a reminder to turn the lights on at night, and to turn them off in the morning. Alternatively, install timers on exterior lights so that lights turn on and shut off automatically.
- Leave your porch light on all night (it costs about 11 cents a month for a 5W compact fluorescent bulb).
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from windows, doors and walkways.
Porch lights help to create a safe environment around the entrance to your home and deter potential intruders. Keep yards, porches, and entrances well-lit at night.
Join Your Neighborhood on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is a location-based social networking service for neighborhoods. Nextdoor offers a way to foster relationships with your neighbors without having to knock on their door. Ridgefield neighborhoods are fairly active on Nextdoor, visit Nextdoor.com to join the conversation.
Here are some tips on how you and your neighborhood can get the most out of using Nextdoor for crime prevention.
Spread the word to all neighbors. Divide up responsibility for recruiting neighbors on a block by block basis to ensure that as many neighbors as possible join your Nextdoor website. The more neighbors that are on Nextdoor, the more eyes there are looking out for the neighborhood.
Register your phone number with Nextdoor in order to get urgent alerts via mobile phone text message. An urgent alert is a special type of message that reaches neighbors immediately via mobile phone text message and email. Neighbors can send urgent alerts when they notice suspicious activity or serious safety issues. To be notified via text message, you must register your phone number on the mobile phone settings page.
Report suspicious activity or safety issues to your Nextdoor neighborhood. You can either post a message or send an urgent alert to all your neighbors. If you send an urgent alert, Nextdoor will immediately send an email and a mobile phone text message to your neighbors.
Always call 911 first in case of an emergency.
Take Care of Your Community – Stay Safe
Auto Prowl Prevention
Recently, there has been an uptick in theft from vehicles in Ridgefield. These thieves are looking for quick access to your vehicle to grab valuables such as your wallet, computer, or other personal property. Often, victims of car prowling have left their vehicle unlocked while unattended.
Keep your vehicle and your property protected: Remove valuables from your vehicle and lock it when unattended.
Home Safety/Burglary Prevention
Through crime prevention efforts, you and other citizens of Ridgefield can take control of your property and your lives, strengthen the bonds in our community and help police make your neighborhood a safe place to live.
Most intruders seek easy targets. The more difficult you make it for them, the lower your risk of becoming a victim. Effective security measures need not be costly. Common sense and a bit of prevention can go a long way.
Install Crime-Resistant Locks
- Deadbolts on all outside entrances (make sure they meet local building and fire codes).
- Reinforce or replace key-in-the-knob locks with cylinder dead-bolts or horizontal bolts.
- Secure sliding glass doors.
- Install locks made specifically to prevent sliding or lifting.
- Drill a hole through the inside frame and insert a nail to prevent sliding.
- Place a strong piece of wood or a steel rod in the track (a sturdy broomstick, for example).
Prevent Window Entry
- Use window key locks (keep keys in locks for quickly exiting case of emergency or fire).
- For double hung windows, drill holes (at a downward angle) through the top corners of the inside sash and the bottom corners of the outside sash. Insert nails, pins or bolts.
- Look into an alarm system. (Check company references before you buy.)
Crime-Proof Outside Areas
- Keep yard, porch and entrances well-lit at night. Look into motion detection lighting.
- Store tools, toys, etc., after each use.
- Never hide keys outside your home.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
- Get to know each other’s schedules so you can be aware when something is not a normal pattern.
- Cooperate in keeping an eye on neighborhood homes.
- Join Neighbors on Watch, a volunteer program where citizen volunteers assist the police department with events, crime prevention, and keeping an eye on their neighborhood.
Use Preventative Measures When Traveling Away from Home
- Inform a trusted neighbor of your travel plans.
- Have someone collect your mail, newspapers, and other deliveries while you’re away.
- Don’t share your plans with strangers.
- Leave shades and blinds in their normal positions to give the appearance that someone is at home.
- Use timing devices on lighting (two or more areas of the home).
- For extended absences, consider hiring a trusted housesitter.
Protect your Valuable Personal Belongings
- Engrave jewelry, watches, appliances, computers, stereo equipment with your driver’s license number or other identifiable label. (We do NOT recommend using your social security number.)
- Rent a safe-deposit box for valuables and extra cash.
- Consult your home insurance provider for suggestions to aid in recovering the value of stolen articles. (Some companies require that you follow specific procedures in protecting your valuables.)
Here are some additional burglary prevention tips:
- Never leave your gate unlocked or doors and windows open or unlocked while doing yard work or other outdoor chores (washing the car, taking the dog for a short walk, getting the mail).
- Make sure to leave your garage door closed and locked whether you’re home or not.
- When closing your garage door, either on your way out or on your way home, watch it to make sure it goes down all the way and that no one sneaks in.
- Move all ladders, garbage cans, tool sheds (anything that can offer easy access to windows or decks) away from the side of your house.
- Treat second story windows and doors the same as the ones on the ground level. Keep them closed and locked.
- Never leave windows or doors open or unlocked while sleeping.
- Have an emergency plan for escape in case you hear someone breaking into your house.
- Get out of the house, have a cell phone ready if possible to call police, and go to a safe place to wait for police.
- If getting out of the house is not possible, call 9-1-1 and lock yourself in a room.
- Stay on the phone with 9-1-1 and wait for police.
- Getting to know and communicating with your neighbors about safety plans and working together to keep an eye out for suspicious circumstances happening in your neighborhood can be an effective deterrent to crime.