Safety Measures - By Robbie Burr

A neighbor once asked, “When am I ever going to feel safe in the community?”  The question still lingers as I ponder for an answer.  Living in an urban environment, one comes to expect some level of crime, but to what extent?  Will I ever feel 100 % safe?  Is a 90% personal safety rating achievable?  What percentage is more realistic?  

Data indicates that crime overall in the United States has been declining since the 1990s.  Surprisingly, crime in the inner city has declined at a rate faster than the rural areas.  Contrary to what is shown on the nightly local news, violent crime trends are on the decline.  Decline yes, eliminated no.  West Highlands’ home break-ins have dropped but we have seen an increase in robberies and items stolen out of cars.  The summer is upon us and this the season when we start to see a rise in criminal activity. 
 
You [West Highlands’ resident] are the first line of defense in insuring the safety and security of our community.  With 200 homes, 1,000 apartment units and over 2,500 residents, you are the eyes and ears of West Highlands.  If we are ever going to increase our sense of safety, then we all need to get involved.  When you become involved in identifying safety concerns, then you become an integral part of the solution.  Don’t assume “someone else will take care of it” because they are probably thinking the same.  Go with the motto, “If it does not look right or feel right, it probably isn’t”, and know that is the time to react. But NEVER put yourself in a position of danger by confronting someone. Instead, call the police by dialing 911.    
 
There are many small things you can do to also help deter crimes in the community. Take a moment to look around your community as you leave and come home each day.  Be observant of your surroundings. The minute it may take to recognize something out of place may very well save your neighbor from the heartache of a break-in.  Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and across the street.  Good neighbors will watch out for your home. 
 
On the West Highlands website, www.westhighlandsatl.com, is a Home Security Checklist under the document heading.  Here you will find some useful information as well as some valuable tips on protecting your home.
 
West Highlands HOA has made great strides over the past several years in helping to deter crime in the West Highlands community, and we will continue to look for security measures to improve the safety of our residents, but it starts with YOU!