The citizens of Renton are very fortunate that the Renton Police Dept. has chosen to become part of CrimeReports, a collection of over 1000 law enforcement agencies throughout the USA and Canada, that are committed to transparency, public access and citizen engagement in the process of crime reporting and disclosure. Through their website, www.crimereports.com , all persons having internet access can access crime data that is far more detailed and credible than what one may encounter on social media. For example, here is a recap of our situation in Kennydale compared to all of Renton, starting at 1/1/2017:
The types of crimes being tracked in this period consist of: Assault, Robbery, Breaking & Entering, Property Crime, Theft, Theft from Vehicle, Theft of Vehicle, and Drugs.
Interestingly, Kennydale consistently represented only 6.5% or less of the total crimes reported for this 3 month period....somewhat comforting, but maybe not so much if you were one of the 6% ! Also, Kennydale saw none of the assault or drug type incidents that occurred elsewhere in town.
Here’s how to use the site: go to www.crimereports.com , and enter Renton in the “Search Crime Reports” box. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Renton, Washington. A map centered on Renton will appear. You can move around in the map, zoom, etc. in the same manner as you do with Bing Maps or Google Maps. To display the city’s borderline, click on the icon that displays a gold shield. You will see icons for the various types of crimes. If you are looking at the Renton map and you don’t see any icons at all, you are zoomed out too far. If you see a lot of circles that are overlapping, you should zoom in more. At this point, you may see a combination of circles with a number inside, and other circles with a blue outline and a symbol inside. This is probably the best zoom level to use. If you still see some circles with a grey outline and a number inside, that shows that a quantity of crime incidents have occurred close together. When you click on that icon, blue icons for the individual crime incidents will break out. When you click on an individual blue icon, full details for that incident will appear in the list at the right-hand side of screen. Also, at the upper left-hand side of screen, you can click on the Filter button to bring up a menu for choosing your Date Range, Time of Day, Incident Types, etc. Finally, there are tabs at the top of your screen where you can read FAQ’s and other useful general information about the site. Also, the site has a video tutorial that is helpful in learning how everything works. Give it a try; you won’t blow anything up!
If you attend the Kennydale Neighborhood Association’s quarterly neighborhood meetings and/or the other events that we host throughout the year, or if you go to various events that are hosted by the City of Renton, then you most likely have seen or heard information about the City’s Block Watch Program. If you are new to the neighborhood or have not taken the time to become informed on this very important program, here’s an easy remedy:
Go to www.rentonwa.gov and follow the path Living>Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention>Crime Prevention>Block Watch. There’s a lot of good information there; here are some highlights of what Block Watch offers:
· Two-way lines of communication and trust are opened up between citizens and the Renton Police Dept.
· Citizens receive reliable security information on locks, lights, physical environment etc. in order to make their properties more secure (read the list of Residential Burglary Prevention Tips that appears in this edition of the Kennydale News
· KNA offers all Kennydale residents the ability to communicate with City officials in a unified voice about all sorts of matters that are of interest to them. Block Watch brings this cohesive effort down to the block-by-block level, with the focus being on establishing a group effort to implement solutions for improved security that work well for your particular street.
· Citizens may request a free security survey of their homes; to set that up, or to learn how to establish a Block Watch in your neighborhood, call the Block Watch Coordinator at 425-430-7521.
KNA would like to add this thought: Block Watch provides a comfortable means for residents to accomplish the task of getting to know the other people on your street. It’s probably not realistic to know everybody on a first-name basis, but do try to develop that relationship with at least both of your neighbors on either side, and with the ones directly across the street. This can provide the foundation for a higher level of trust, and the possibility that each of you will feel more comfortable.
The uptick in break-ins and thefts that occurred in Kennydale in January and February highlights the need for a reminder to all our residents about the things that you should be doing to help minimize the chance that you will become a victim
The following is a list of Residential Burglary Prevention Tips that has been available from the Renton Police Dept. for some time. This information has been provided, at neighborhood Block Watch meetings and at the October 2016 KNA Neighborhood meeting and 4 previous such meetings, by Officer Cyndie Parks, RPD’s Community Program Coordinator. For those of you who have implemented some or many of these tips, congratulations! For those of you who haven’t, now is the time to stop being a potential (or actual) victim by implementing whichever of the following precautions apply to your particular home:
1) Install lights by all exterior doors, and the motion detecting type at front and garage doors (or install LED lamps on a timer and run them all night). Make sure your fixtures have glass covers that are not easily removed.
2) Trim shrubs back from doors and windows
3) Don’t leave exterior lights on during the daytime; that suggests that you are away from home
4) Always close your garage door, and cover “view” windows so that no one can see inside
5) Leave nothing in your car (especially the garage door opener); lock it up; park in garage if possible
6) Secure outdoor sheds with a high quality lock (bolt cutters will cut most padlocks)
7) Always lock your doors and windows, even when you’re at home
8) Use solid core or metal exterior doors
9) Install 4-screw strike plates with 3” wood screws to penetrate the stud within your door frame on all exterior entry doors
10) Use deadbolt locks on exterior doors and double-cylinder deadbolt locks if glass is within 3 feet of the lock
11) Install peepholes on doors with 160 degree views (if you don’t have a window near the door)
12) Do not hide keys outside; leave them with a trusted neighbor
13) Add drop bars, wooden dowels, or pinning devices to windows and sliding glass doors
14) Keep valuables in a safe deposit box
15) Use a locking, heavy-duty metal mailbox (not plastic) *
16) Take outgoing mail directly to the post office or a blue Postal pick-up box
17) Never let strangers into your home. If someone knocks, answer them through a closed, locked door and keep it locked until you verify that they have legitimate business with you. Check their ID
18) Never leave notes for anyone on the door
19) Consider installing a residential alarm system*
20) Consider installing a good quality video surveillance system*
While on vacation:
* When shopping for a locking mailbox, residential alarm system, or video surveillance system, do your research! Amazon.com appears to be an excellent place to find out what’s available, and to learn what their other customers like – or don’t like – about these types of products. When you are ready to make a purchase, also keep in mind our local stores here in Renton!
Please note that prices for alarm systems and monitoring vary widely. Systems that include mandatory monitoring, annual contracts, etc. can be very expensive. The City of Renton has posted some very revealing information on this subject. To learn more, go to www.rentonwa.gov and then follow the path: Living>Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention>Crime Prevention>Home Security Systems
As Officer Cyndie Parks notes, “It falls upon those who live in a neighborhood to be vigilant and to remember: utilizing 911 as a resource tool as opposed to an emergency-only number is incredibly important. Reporting suspicious activity can make a very big difference when it comes to deterring criminal activity – please be a heavy handed 911 caller”. After you call 911, get on social media, if you are so inclined. Finally, if you have never set up a Block Watch on your street, or if yours has become inactive, please call Officer Parks at 425-430-7521 to get one
Every month, a group of young men from the Griffin Home conduct a litter pick up on Lake Washington Blvd. N., starting at Gene Coulon beach Park and going north up to Burnett Ave. N. at Clover Creek. This March, at the request of KNA, they did an additional pick up of the trash at the Park & Ride lot on N. 30th Street, and when they had completed that task, they proceeded to clean up the I-405 Exit 6 interchange, and also N. 30th Street down to Lake Wash. Blvd. Over 20 youth and their advisers participated, and 14 large bags of trash were collected! All Kennydale residents benefit in having a clean neighborhood, and we sincerely thank the Griffin residents for your help!
Plan now for the annual garage sale, organized by the Kennydale Neighborhood Association. We encourage all residents to participate: set up a sale at your home, set up signs, and look forward to the substantial crowds that this sale always attracts. In 2016 we had about 50 families participating; and, although the weather was a mixture of sun, clouds and light rain, there was still a good amount of traffic throughout the neighborhood. So for this year, plan on seeing a good turnout of buyers, because....who can resist a sale with so many choices!
In addition to this newsletter announcement, KNA is supporting this event by placing flyers at local businesses, email reminders to 350+ homes, and A-Board signs at all the entry roads into Kennydale. Also, we will deliver a red balloon to each seller, which you can place at the front of your lot so that visitors can easily spot your sale as they drive along the street.
This is a great opportunity to make a few $$$, clear out "treasures”, clean out your closets, attic, garage and basement. Also, to go over to your neighbor's and check out the goodies they have for sale! Have fun and have a great sale!
Rajendra Agrawaal, Garage Sale Chairman
In Kennydale, we have a gem of green space with a wonderful history. It is the May Creek Trail Park, located at 4260 Lake Washington Blvd. N., just south of the old Pan Abode site.
There are story boards on the trail that share the history of Clarissa Colman, a pioneer who homesteaded by May Creek in the 1800’s. She kept a diary for 24 years after her husband was murdered as he was rowing across Lake Washington to testify in Seattle at a criminal trial.
If you have not visited the trail, I encourage you to do so. There is a compacted, wide walking trail. If you focus on the sound of the birds and swiftly running creek you may forget the freeway is so close.
….and While We’re on the Subject.... the May Creek Trail Park will have a
Spring Green and Clean Project
Saturday, May 13th
Check-in at 8:45 am; Project will run until 11:30 am
This is a great opportunity for volunteers (14+) to do some light sprucing up, etc. to help maintain this jewel. Youths age 14 to 17 who are not accompanied must have a waiver filled out by an adult. You may register at Rentonwa.gov/cybersignup or call 425-430-6700 (May Creek Trail Green & Clean is course #58462). All tools will be provided, but participants should bring a pair of work gloves and clothing appropriate for whatever weather is expected on this date! Parking available on the west side of Lake WA Blvd. N.
KNA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Kennydale and fostering community spirit.