Cops, businesses tackle crime

Program similar to neighborhood watch

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The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Lone Tree Police Department in launching a Business Watch program across the county.

The concept is similar to a neighborhood watch program. DSCO is working with businesses on an individual level to make them more secure, while simultaneously creating a sense of “businesses looking out for one another” to deter criminals.

“We are starting to go around to businesses and get them to go next door to talk to one another,” said Deputy Chad Teller, who is heading the program for DCSO. “We want people to know who their business neighbors are. This program is really modeled so that you can find out what is going on in your business neighborhood.”

Teller said the sheriff’s office is offering individual 45-minute site assessments to Douglas County businesses free of charge.

“This involves looking at all the windows, doors, locks, landscape, what kind of lighting you have, security cameras, etc.,” he said. “We’ll walk around the interior as well as the exterior and do whatever we can to help make things safer.”

Once the site assessment is done, the sheriff’s office will send a list of recommendations to the business. Signs, similar to neighborhood watch signs, are also provided.

“We want criminals to know everybody is looking out for one another,” Teller said, adding that business-related crimes are at their peak during the holiday season. “In addition to what the program is about, we also talk a little bit about employee theft and what you can do to protect your assets and protect the business.”

Protecting one’s assets can be one of the toughest tasks there is during the digital age.

Amin Shariff, owner of a local Farmers Insurance Agency, said that as larger corporations have beefed up their security measures, medium-sized and small businesses have become targets for more cybercrimes.

“There’s a set of topics that we only really talk about when it’s too late,” said Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce President LaRae Marsik. “But in the wake of things like Hurricane Sandy you see a lot of businesses wondering how to protect themselves when things happen; from a physical asset security perspective to what happens when your customer records are hacked.”

To arrange for a site survey or learn more about Business Watch, please contact Teller at 303-660-7510 or cteller@dcsheriff.net. To learn more about what crimes are happening around you, visit www.raidsonline.com, which just replaced crimereports.com as Douglas County’s new crime-reporting site.

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