Crime and Fire Prevention, has been a major avenue of Exchange service since the 1940s. Since its inception, Exchange’s crime and fire prevention program has been endorsed by nearly every U.S. President, and many of the nation’s leading law enforcement officials. The majority of clubs kick off their anticrime campaigns during October, National Crime Prevention Month.
Any club searching for a program with a clear commitment to community safety will find the crime and fire prevention projects ideal. The primary objectives of these projects are:
- To educate the public.
- To help eliminate crime and the causes of fires.
- To teach people how to safeguard themselves against the dangers around them.
Following is a list of crime prevention programs in which your club is encouraged to participate. Clubs starting these projects are urged to gear their activities to the entire year, not only October. Click here to view the Crime and Fire Prevention Guide.
- Junior Police
- My Day in Court
- Cyber Tipline
- Child Identification/Fingerprinting
- Crime Prevention for Seniors
- Alarm for Life
- Law Enforcement Officer/Firefighter of the Year
- Blue & Gold Wounded in Service Award
Junior Police is a proven and powerful program which brings law enforcement officers into the classrooms of third through seventh graders. It allows young people to meet and talk to law enforcement officers in a relaxed and friendly environment. This program provides early establishment and a correct image of who law enforcement officers really are and what they stand for.
To get started your Exchange Club explains the program to the targeted school administration, the local police department, and the school’s police liaison officer to gain everyone’s support and participation for a successful program. Then, three visits are scheduled in the classroom with one or two police officers presiding. With Exchange Club volunteers helping in the classroom, students are encouraged to ask questions and learn about the officers and their work.
During the final visit each student receives an official Junior Police ID card and a specially designed badge sticker.
MY DAY IN COURT
The focus of “My Day in Court” is to show future adult citizens of America how our system works and how the law is administered. Since crime prevention requires an early understanding of America’s complex justice system, an awareness of the laws, and the consequences of breaking those laws, My Day in Court provides a hands-on learning experience of our judicial system.
Limited to sixth grade students, My Day in Court allows students to sit in a courtroom while a judge hears arraignments on a variety of criminal matters. After the court session, the students are seated in the jury box and are able to ask questions, and view the courtroom from the judge’s seat.
The program requires the cooperation and participation of a judge who hears both misdemeanor and felony cases, the municipal or county court system and the local schools. “My Day in Court” certificates can be presented to the students upon completion of this project. These certificates are available through your National Exchange Club Supply Department.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, to prevent sexual abuse of children. They have established the national Cyber Tipline and the national Child Pornography Tipline at 1-800-843-5678 (800-THE-LOST).
The Cyber Tipline Program is one way for Exchangites to help prevent incidents of sexual approaches or solicitations towards children while online. Clubs are encouraged to distribute brochures to parents throughout the community and place posters in high traffic areas in an effort to protect children from online pornography.
Exchange Clubs can work with schools, parent organizations, or youth-oriented organizations to distribute software designed to filter out pornographic web sites. Clubs could distribute the software free or obtain a sponsor. Clubs could also ask a representative from an Internet Service Provider to speak about filtering systems at a workshop or meeting. To order Cyber Tipline brochures and posters contact the National Exchange Club Supply department.
Your club can help parents be prepared to help law enforcement officers in the event their child is missing. The program is not preventative — it does not reduce the possibility that a child may join the ranks of the missing. What it does is provide parents with a permanent record of a child’s identification data which law enforcement agencies can later use if they need to locate the child.
This project involves the collection of information about children, such as name, age, address, height, weight, hair color, etc., in a format that is easy for parents to keep and turn over to police in the unfortunate event their child is missing. These specially designed cards allow for all the necessary identification data as well as a child’s fingerprints to be recorded on a single sheet.
In many communities, Child ID programs are already in place through area law enforcement agencies. If this is the case in your community, your Exchange Club can get involved by supporting the existing program with volunteers or financial donations.
With the cooperation of law enforcement agencies, Exchangites work with schools, churches, shopping malls, community festivals or other areas to arrange for a Child ID event. Utilizing school or church newsletters is an effective way to promote your Child ID event as well as involving the media in this community project.
Child ID is an ongoing task for Exchange Clubs, since children are constantly growing and forms should be updated annually, although every six months is preferred. Child Identification/Fingerprinting Recording Cards are available through the National Headquarters Supply Department.
CRIME PREVENTION FOR SENIORS
The need to be secure in our homes and communities is a primary concern of older Americans. Exchange Clubs, with their long-standing commitment to crime prevention activities, are especially well-equipped to educate senior citizens on simple, effective measures to help curtail crime.
For instance, a club can arrange for its members and a local police officer to visit community senior centers and senior-majority neighborhoods to create greater awareness of crime prevention techniques. Exchange Club Crime Prevention Action Files are excellent informational tools for distribution at these events.
In addition, Exchange Clubs can sponsor and help organize Neighborhood Watch programs in areas where there are substantial numbers of older citizens. Neighborhood Watch programs involve the establishment of a cooperative system of citizen surveillance over one another’s homes and property, on either a block by block or neighborhood basis.
ALARM FOR LIFE
The fire prevention device with the greatest potential for saving lives is a smoke alarm. The likelihood of dying in a fire is reduced significantly by using a smoke detector in the home. Through this innovative project, clubs install, at no charge, smoke alarms in the homes of needy families. Local churches, senior citizens councils and state and federal agencies can assist the club in determining the candidates for smoke detector installations. Then, Exchangites and fire department officials visit the homes and install the smoke alarms. In the process, families and their neighbors will have seen Exchange Club members and firefighters up close, friendly and concerned. Be sure to have the head of the household sign a receipt, which includes a release clearing your club of any liability.
Additional Crime and Fire Prevention projects are explained in a more thorough form in the Crime Prevention Resource Guide available from your National Headquarters.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR
This program is designed to honor men and women who serve as law enforcement officers or firefighters. It is most successful when done with the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies and the fire department. These resources can help you establish the criteria by which outstanding performance of duty or an especially kind or helpful act is publicly recognized. Your club serves as the magnifying glass which enables the public to see a clearer view of what law enforcement and firefighting work is all about.
Selections should be made by a committee which not only includes Exchangites, but also high ranking civic and social leaders. When the selections are made, a detailed written explanation of the reasons as well as a biographical profile of the honorees should be distributed to the local news media. Every attempt should be made to publicize the selection and award presentations as widely as possible.
The award can be in the form of a gift (an engraved wrist watch, U.S. Savings Bond, etc.) and/or Law Enforcement Officer/Firefighter of the Year Award Medallions and Plaques, available from the National Headquarters Supply Department.
BLUE & GOLD WOUNDED IN SERVICE AWARD
The purpose of the Exchange Blue & Gold Wounded in Service Award is to further enhance the public’s level of respect, admiration, and appreciation for the severe sacrifices which law enforcement officers and firefighters frequently make in the line of duty.
It must be emphasized that although Exchange has historically conducted other recognitions designed to achieve a similar purpose, the Blue & Gold Award represents our highest tribute to the men and women of our police and firefighting forces. Because of this, the selection of Blue & Gold recipients must be conducted carefully by a very select and qualified committee. Clubs should judiciously monitor the selections to ensure that the award is not given out indiscriminately
The qualifications for the Blue & Gold Award are simple, yet severe. A man or woman may be considered for the award if he or she is an official member in good standing of a certified law enforcement agency or fire department and is injured in the line of duty.
The Blue & Gold Award consists of a set of custom designed decorations which permit an officer to display the honor whether in uniform or in civilian dress. The centerpiece of the set is a handsome bronze medallion attached to a blue and gold ribbon that permits the medal to be worn around the neck during special ceremonial occasions. In addition, the set also includes a military type service ribbon that can be worn on the officer’s uniform during regular tours of duty. There is also a combination lapel pin/tie tac which can be worn with civilian dress.
The Award also includes a special certificate suitable for framing. Both the medal and certificate can be purchased from National Headquarters.