If a burglar was casing your neighborhood, would your home tick off all the boxes on the thief’s wish list? Making sure it doesn’t is the purpose of free home security surveys offered by the Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas police departments.
According to Randy Klenosky, a crime prevention specialist for the Metropolitan Police Department’s Northwest Area Command, burglars are attracted to residences with overgrown landscaping and low-hanging trees, glass windows and doors and thin door frames and without a visible security system or a barking dog.
But, he said, other security weaknesses that may invite crime into your home are less obvious, and a security review can help identify those before a criminal can strike.
Upon request, a crime prevention specialist will conduct a walk-through of a person’s home, identifying security weaknesses and offering suggestions that can deter would-be burglars.
Klenosky said the service isn’t used as much as it could be. As of early September, he said, Metro’s Northwest Area Command, which consists mostly of residential neighborhoods, had seen at least 1,267 property crimes, about 51 percent of which were home burglaries. Meanwhile, as of mid-December, only about 20 security surveys had been conducted in the area this year. “I would like to see that number rise, as it prevents more homeowners from being victimized, because these services are working,” Klenosky said.
Henderson police spokesman Rod Pena agrees that the home visits are the best solution, although the department also offers a do-it-yourself security inspection survey on its website for those who would rather tackle security on their own. He characterized the online survey as a preliminary precaution. “From a law enforcement perspective, if an officer can be there with you, then we would be able to answer all your questions,” Pena said.
Klenosky said some homeowners with security systems might feel less inclined to take advantage of the free service, but he warned that families should not rely on just one measure. “Home security is all about layering, and the more layers of security you have, the more effective it’s going to be as a deterrent,” he said. “If a criminal really wants to, he will find a way inside. But what we’ll do is go into a house and take our time to create that deterrent.” Many security measures that officers recommend don’t cost much, if anything.
“You don’t have to do everything we recommend all in one day,” he said. “Prioritize based on your budget. Some of the changes we often recommend are even free.”