Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen invites area residents and concerned citizens to a public education forum regarding Halloween, holiday shopping, and home safety. This informational meeting will be held at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds from 7-8 p.m. Oct. 27. With the increased attention on sex and violent offenders from the media, especially around Halloween and holidays, Sheriff Bowen will provide facts to concerned parents on how to locate homes and workplaces of offenders. Specifically, he will address concerns for Halloween night as well as provide safety tips for parents and children. There will be a computer with sex offender registry information that parents can use to check their address and compare it to the addresses of registered offenders.
Also, with the upcoming holiday season quickly approaching, Detective Alex Petty and IT Specialist Zach SeRine will present concepts for the best methods of online shopping and personal safety while at shopping centers. With the rapid advances in technology, having a line of defense against identity theft, hacking, and other cybercrime issues is vital for the thousands who will be shopping from the convenience of a computer or mobile device.
In addition to holiday safety tips, Detective Greg Lockhart will give attendees a clear understanding of home safety—what to do if someone finds that his/her home has been burglarized, and what to do if someone is home when an intruder enters. He will also give proactive tips that may help prevent a home from being targeted. As homeowners prepare for the holiday season, a prime time for thefts and burglaries, Detective Lockhart will assist residents in knowing how to best provide a defense against crime and, if a victim of crime, be better prepared to assist law enforcement in apprehending criminals.
In 2014, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office worked 266 theft cases, 67 burglary cases, and 66 fraud/forgery cases. To date in 2015, the Sheriff’s Office has taken 171 theft reports, 56 burglary reports, and 60 fraud/forgery reports. Hamilton County averages approximately 150 individuals on the Sex and Violent Offender Registry at any given time. This number does not reflect statistics in Hamilton County areas covered by other law enforcement agencies.
All community members are encouraged to attend. Everyone who attends the forum will be given information and resources that show ways to be proactive in protecting children, homes, identities, and belongings. There will be resources available that detail credit and debit card safety, new technology for home alarms and camera systems, and a home inventory company. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of officers and presenters following the presentation.