The video above is just one example of how the Sewalls Point Police Department watches out for its residents. These officers save lives! Chief Tina Ciechanowski is proud of her officers. So are the residents. With the care of an outstanding department, our streets remain relatively free of crime. It's safety and security at its finest. Keeping our Sewall's Point Town residents safe is apparent in all actions by the Sewalls Point Police Department.

On November 2nd, our Chief of Police, Tina Ciechanowski, gave a presentation to a packed house at Town Hall informing residents about safety in and around our homes and online. Some topics discussed were data breaches, logins and password safety, and how to keep your credit information safe. Even your child or grandchild's identity can be stolen, and it's important to be aware of steps to mitigate risk and what to do in the event of a stolen identity.

Phone scams can range from the caller saying it's your grandchild and they need bail money to scammers asking for personal information over the phone, such as your social security number or credit card information. Criminals use FEMA and little business loan ploys to obtain your personal information. Chief Tina says, "Social security numbers are the biggest risk, and never give it out unless necessary. And don't carry your SS card in your wallet if it is stolen." If someone asks for your SS#, ask why they need it and how they will secure your information.

While we all feel protected by our police department and know they do a fantastic job keeping us safe, we must do our part to prevent home intrusion and burglary. Our officers cannot be everywhere all the time. Chief Tina warned residents to keep doors locked when home and when they leave. Many doors are left unlocked, which invites criminals to walk right in. Any safes should be bolted down or placed within your home's foundation.  If you own a home here that you rent out, make sure you know the people well. Have a background check done on potential tenants.

Chief Tina recommended, "Anytime there is something suspicious and in progress (i.e., someone you don't know walking in your yard, a neighbor's yard, or a car loitering on your street, ALWAYS CALL 911!" Don't worry about being overcautious because dispatch at Martin County Sheriff's Office will determine the level of service needed. That's what dispatchers are trained to do. If you call the police department office number, you may not reach someone immediately. Anytime you see anything amiss, call 911.

Having a monitored security system deters burglars so do "nest cameras" that are relatively inexpensive. Ensure the camera's resolution is enough to see potential threats on your property. Often, security companies will bundle services together, making them more affordable. Even the dollar stores have magnets that buzz when the door is opened. Doorbells with cameras are another great deterrent, costing as little as $80 on Amazon.

Make sure to wipe clean computers, phones, and any electronics before discarding them. Be very careful about whose Wi-Fi you use and consider getting virus protection for your computers and your phones. Chief Tina has a warning regarding criminals saying," This is what these people do for a living, and they're very good at it." Be innovative, proactive, and diligent about keeping your family and possessions safe.

We should all be very proud of our nine officers in the Sewall's Point Police Department. They protect and serve our beautiful town; we are very grateful for their presence. Show them how much you care! They make our town a better and safer place to live. Here are some of the statistics of our police department.   

Contact Mona Leonard, Sewall's Point Living Content Coordinator and Treasure Coast Living Blogger, for more information.