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Alcohol & Teens

Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for teenagers.

Alcohol related car crashes are the number one killer of teenagers in the United States.

Alcohol is the number one drug problem in America.

If you think it can’t happen to you, look around. Check your school’s yearbooks for the last ten years. How many have been dedicated to a student who was killed in a drunk driving crash?

Ask your friends how many people they know who have had bad things happen to them while they were drinking.

You don’t even have to be the one doing the drinking — most teenage passenger deaths are the result of alcohol-impaired teenage drivers.

How Does Alcohol Affect You?

  • You see double, speech slurs, you lose your sense of distance.
  • Alcohol loosens inhibitions; you make bad judgments that can result in car crashes, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or rape.
  • A significant proportion of violent crimes and vandalism among and by youth involve alcohol.
  • Using alcohol can cost you your freedom. You can be grounded by parents, lose your driver’s license, or even end up in jail.

Some More Facts About Alcohol

  • Drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or breathing fresh air will not sober you up. The only thing that sobers you up is time.
  • One beer, one shot of whiskey, and one glass of wine all have the same amount of alcohol. Don’t fall for the notion that beer and wine are less intoxicating than hard liquors.
  • Only 3-5% of alcoholics are what we think of as bums. Most alcoholics are just like people you know. Anyone can become an alcoholic — young, old, rich, poor, married, single, employed, or out of work.
  • The earlier young people start drinking and using drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted.
  • Alcohol ages and damages the brain.

For More Information…

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)
P.O. Box 2345
Rockville, MD 2085

1-800-SAY-NO-TO, 1-301-468-2600, 1-800-662-HELP

Domestic Violence

As many as four million women in this country suffer some kind of domestic violence at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends each year. Very few will tell anyone…a friend, a neighbor, or the police. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups, all ages, and all religions. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.

Are You Abused?

Does the person you love…

  • “Track” all of your time?
  • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
  • Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Criticize you for little things?
  • Anger easily when using alcohol or other drugs?
  • Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
  • Humiliate you in front of others?
  • Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or your children?
  • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
  • Threaten to hurt you or your children?
  • Force you to have sex against your will?

If you find yourself saying yes to any of these — it’s time to get help!

Don’t Ignore the Problem

  • Talk to someone. Part of the abuser’s power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems. Go to a friend or neighbor, or call a domestic violence hotline to talk to a counselor.
  • Plan ahead and know what to do if you are attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go; set aside some money. Put important papers together — marriage license, birth certificates, checkbooks — in a place where you can get them quickly.
  • Learn to think independently. Try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.

If You Are Hurt, What Can You Do?

There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself…

  • Call the Police.  Assault, even if by family members, is a crime.   The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.
  • Leave!  Or have someone come and stay with you.  Go to a battered women’s shelter — call a crisis hotline in your community or a health center to locate a shelter.  If you believe that you, or your children, are in danger — leave immediately!
  • Get medical attention from your doctor or a hospital emergency room.   Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action.
  • Contact your family court for information about a civil restraining order that does not involve criminal charges or penalties.

Nationwide Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Identity Theft

To do damage, they don’t need your card — they only need your numbers…credit cards, telephone, social security, driver’s license, passport, checks, bank accounts, etc…

Keep Your Information Private!

  • Do not print numbers on checks:  social security, telephone number, account number.
  • Never give your credit card number over the phone.
  • Keep your telephone number unlisted.
  • Cancel, in writing, any credit cards you have not used in the last six months.
  • Be careful if your social security number is your medical identification number…know how it is handled at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and/or in an emergency.

Be Sure That Garbage Is Garbage!

  • Shred documents before throwing them away…including credit card statements, bank statements, pre-approved applications, any important papers with identifying numbers.
  • If you decide not to proceed with a loan or purchase, take all unused copies of the application, paperwork and/or receipts home with you.

Find Out About Credit Information!

Request copies of your credit reports from one or all of the credit reporting agencies…check the reports for accuracy…

Keep An Eye On Your Mail!

  • Deposit mail at the post office or in a postal mail box.  Do not leave bills in your home mailbox for the postman to pick up.
  • Lock your mailbox.
  • If you notice your mail is dwindling, check with the post office to see if they have any change of address posted.
  • When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank instead of having them delivered to your home.

Keep Important Papers Locked At Home!

  • Empty your wallet of any extra credit cards or other important documents — including your social security card — unless you know you are going to need them.
  • Memorize your social security number.  Avoid carrying your social security card with you.
  • Memorize ALL passwords and PIN numbers.  Keep them private.

Make A List!

  • Keep a complete list of all your financial accounts in a safe place that you can access easily in case any of them are stolen.  These include…Credit Cards (account numbers, expiration dates, contact addresses and numbers) and Bank Information (bank name, account numbers, contact information).
  • Order your social security earnings and benefit statement once a year so that you can check to make sure your earnings are correctly recorded.
Auto Theft

One vehicle is stolen every twenty (20) seconds in the United States.  Stolen cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles cost victims time and money — and increase everyone’s insurance premiums.  They’re also often used to commit other crimes.  Don’t become a victim of this serious crime…

The Basic Prevention Policy…

  • Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away from it, even if its “just for a minute.”
  • Always roll up the windows and lock your car, even if it’s in front of your house.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked.  Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight.  Buy radios, tape and CD players that can be removed and stored in the trunk.
  • Park in busy, well-lighted areas.
  • Carry the registration and insurance card with you.  Don’t leave personal identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
  • When you pay to park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition key with the attendant.  Make sure no personal information is attached.  Do the same when you take your car for repairs.

What About Carjacking?

Carjacking — stealing a car by force — has captured headlines in the last few years.  Statistically, your chances of being a carjacking victim are very slim, and preventive actions can reduce the risk even more…

  • Approach your car with the key in hand.  Look around and inside before getting in.
  • When driving, keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
  • Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATMs, shopping malls, convenience and grocery stores — all windows of opportunity for carjackers.
  • Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stores, and people.
  • If the carjacker has a weapon, give up the car with no questions asked. Your life is worth more than your car.
Repair Fraud

Natural disasters usually bring out the best in people, as neighbors and strangers reach out to help each other.  Unfortunately, these same disasters also bring out individuals who prey on those who have already been victimized. 

Some of the most common scams involve home repairs, clean-up efforts, heating and cooling equipment, and flood damaged cars.  The Cranford Police Crime Prevention Unit suggests that you take precautions and make informed decisions…

Precautions You Can Take!

  • Although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid acting in haste.  Don’t be pressured into signing long-term contracts.  Make temporary repairs if necessary.
  • Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim your home is unsafe.  If concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect or building official inspect it.
  • Prepare a written agreement with anyone you hire.  Never pay for repairs in advance and never pay cash; use a check or money order!
  • Always get several estimates for any repair job.  Be sure to compare prices and contract terms.
  • Ask for references AND check them out.
  • Contact your local Better Business Bureau to check out a company’s reputation before you authorize any work or pay out any money.
Credit Card Fraud

By keeping you informed, together we can rob thieves of a few of their favorite schemes. You can protect yourself against credit card fraud with the following tips:

  • If your card is lost or stolen, report it to your credit card company immediately. The company will take appropriate steps to ensure unauthorized users do not access your account.
  • Sign your new card as soon as it arrives. Signature verification is one of the best weapons we have against fraud. If a criminal signs your (unsigned) card in his or her handwriting, he or she will have no problem using it. Some people feel more secure by not signing the card. If you chose to do this, write “Please ask for I.D.” on the signature strip. This will prevent a potential thief from signing the blank space with his/her signature thereby insuring that he/she can easily use your card.
  • Always keep your charge receipts, destroying any carbons, so you can compare them with your monthly statement.
  • Never release your account number, expiration date, or personal information over the telephone without verifying the caller’s identity. Offer to call back – legitimate companies will not mind. If the caller hesitates, you have reason to be suspicious.
  • Review your monthly statement immediately and report any charges you don’t recognize. The faster an unauthorized charge is reported, the better chance you have to minimize additional losses.
  • Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number). Do not carry your PIN in your wallet or write it on your card. That way, if your card falls into the wrong hands, you won’t be making it easier to use. If you’ve forgotten your PIN or would like to personalize the number, call your credit card company.
  • When using your card, watch to be sure extra imprints of your card are not made. Making a second imprint and filling in the amount later is one of the oldest schemes in the book.
  • Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended. Even hotel rooms are not 100% secure. If you must leave your card behind, put it in a safety deposit box at that hotel.
  • When a merchant returns your card to you, always check to be sure it has your name on it. Your card could easily be switched with someone else’s who is not as honest as you and may not return it.
  • Avoid signing blank charge receipts. Always insist that the exact amount be entered on the receipt before you sign.
  • If you believe you’ve been a victim of fraud or realize your card is missing, call your credit card company immediately.
Internet & Children


The internet provides a unique experience for children to learn and to explore; in part, because a young person is able to proceed at their own rate. The web facilitates learning for children with ADD, and other learning problems; the stress from performance expectations of teachers and classmates is not as evident and the environment can be modified to provide fewer distractions. Gifted children can learn at an accelerated pace.


However, parents and educators realize that this gift of easier access to information is a double-edged sword because the web makes it easier for predators to distribute their wares and to entice the innocent onto their sites.

Porn sites are getting more devious in their attempt to draw visitors. They literally recruit new visitors using various methods. One method is to put misleading words in the subject line of e-mail. So when you see as subject, “new password”, you automatically think of it as legitimate.

Not necessarily, true! In this instance, the sender was one of the many porn sites trying to entice visitors. And how do they get your address? It is fairly easy. If you post your e-mail address anywhere on the net, especially in usenet boards, conferences and discussion boards, you are likely to receive such messages.

Here are some examples. Various internet hosts offer free web sites. Once you are a member of any of these sites, you may want to post requests for help on the discussion boards (“How do I ftp?”; “Does anyone know a good place for free animated graphics?” etc.). Unknown to you and unknown to your web site host, porn and spam sites can snatch your name and your e-mail address by various means including utilizing various “robot” tools which search pages for e-mail addresses.

Sure you can restrict yourself from posting on the net but that’s not a very adequate solution as it keeps you from valuable information, experiences and personal interchanges. The better solution is to protect yourself with various software and other means, some of which are listed below.

Recently, porn/spam sites have been hitting users of HotMail, which is a well known free e-mail service. Strangely, it appears, that those who send out spam or porno mail are totally unconscious of whom they are sending the mail to. Witness, recently, the fact that a Florida Police Department received various porn messages which were sent to their e-mail addresses; addresses that specifically state “Police”! In this case, in response to their complaint, HotMail support deleted the users HotMail account. They also remarked that 99% of spammers using return HotMail addresses are not valid HotMail users. The addresses are fake.

As just mentioned, most e-mail providers have an abuse service where you can complain about these spammers/porn messages. Unfortunately, since 99% of the addresses are fake, no action can be taken. Most providers, also provide a “block sender” technique. But to block the sender you must have an actual e-mail addresses which, again, is usually non-existent and, the next time the spammer sends out a message, they will use a different, fake e-mail address. Yes, you can block subjects that have such words as “adult videos” but that only works for the so-called “honest” porn sites since many others utilize tricks when it comes to the subject field (as noted above).

Perhaps you feel you don’t have to worry about the e-mail aspect as your child does not have access to e-mail. But what about search engines? All children/students use them. The idea behind search engines is that when you request information on certain keywords, you will receive information on those keywords. But porn sites illegally seed words into their pages and sometimes in their META tags; words that have absolutely nothing to do with the contents of their site. They seed literally hundreds of irrelevant words-words that search engine robots capture and thus, when your child puts in one of these words, and it could be anything (animal, picture, telephone, candy, princess, lord) they will pull up a very descriptive porn site. Given the curiosity of children, they may very well visit. A solution is to use search engines designed specifically for younger children. Here are the URLs for three of these:

The following are Internet Service Providers that use various means to protect juveniles from accessing certain sites:

It is important to give children the opportunity to explore the web but we need to offer reasonable protection while they explore. If you’re aware of incidents of exploitation of children, call the at (419) 447-2323, or your local law enforcement agency if outside Tiffin, Ohio or report on-line to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or The Federal Bureau of Investigations

Toll free number for reporting exploitation of children: 1-800-843-5678

Home & Business Security

Here are some home security statistics that may shock you… And hopefully motivate you to take action

  • 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the United States.
  • About 30 percent of all burglaries are through an open or unlocked window or door.
  • Nearly 66 percent of all burglaries are residential (home) break-ins.
  • Renters are just as likely to be the victims of property crime as homeowners.
  • The highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months.
  • Homes without security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into.

U.S. Burglary Statistics

  • Every 13 seconds a home intrusion is committed.
  • 2.5 million+ home intrusions are committed each year.
  • Only 17% of the homes in U.S. have a security system.
  • 2,500+ cars stolen per day… almost 2 cars a minute.
  • Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S.
  • 1 out of 3 residential assaults are a result of a burglary.
  • 85% of break-ins are from non-professionals that are usually more desperate and dangerous.
  • Insurance agencies can offer discounts up to 20% for auto insurance when a home security system is installed.
  • Home security statistics tell us that 95% of break-ins needed some amount of force to break-in. 
  • Thieves prefer easy access, through an unlocked doors or windows.
  • Home security statistics tell us that the type of tools used to break in are usually simple; a screwdriver, pliers, pries bars, and small hammers are most common.
  • Police usually only clear 13% of all reported burglaries due to lack of witnesses or physical evidence.

But what can we do about it…

For a small amount of time and money you can make your home more secure and reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Police when you see something suspicious.

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
  • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.

Don’t Tempt a Thief:

  • Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight
  • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”

Locks…Get the Best:

  • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
  • Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed dead bolt lock.  Key-in-the-knob locks alone are not enough.
  • Sliding glass doors can offer easy access if they are not properly secured.  You can secure them by installing commercially available locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam the door.  To prevent the door being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole.
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
  • All outside doors should be metal or solid wood.
  • If your doors don’t fit tightly in their frames, install weather-stripping around them.
  • Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door.  Door chains break easily and don’t keep out intruders.
  • Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.


  • Most windows can be pinned for security.
  • Drill a 3/16″ hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame – place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
  • Secure basement windows with a grille or grates.

Targeting the Outside:

  • Thieves hate bright lights.  Install outside lights and keep them on at night.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • Prune back shrubbery so it doesn’t hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window.
  • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
  • Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
  • If you travel, create the illusion that you’re at home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your house throughout the evening.  Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house.
  • Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions.  And don’t let your mail pile up!  Call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up.


  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
  • Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
  • If you have a home alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system — Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
  • Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.

If Your Home Is Broken Into:

If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:

  • Do not enter – the perpetrator may still be inside.
  • Use a neighbor’s phone to call police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.

Other precautions you should take:

  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number or your last 4 digits of your social security number with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
  • Consider installing a burglar alarm system.

Car Burglaries

Tips on how to avoid car break-ins:

  •  Do not leave valuables in plain view:
  • (GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, cell phones, MP3’s, wallets, purses)
  •  Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
  •  Do not leave doors unlocked.
  •  Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
  •  Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
  •  Do not leave out items with personal information.
  •  Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
  •  Slow Down and use common sense before you leave your car.

Home Safety Checklist

Unwanted Marketing

With the proliferation of real name fraud (see our Identity Theft tips section), unsolicited mail offerings and unsolicited telemarketing, the following information is provided for your safety and convenience…

Pre-Approved Offers of Credit

To have your name removed from PRE-APPROVED OFFERS OF CREDIT lists provided by Equifax, Experian (TRW) and TransUnion, call 888-567-8688.  This action will reduce the amount of unsolicited mail offers of credit that you receive.

Telemarketing Firms

To have your name and phone number removed from lists provided to TELEMARKETING FIRMS you must make your request in writing.  Your request must contain your name, any other names you use or have used (Miss Jane Smith, Mrs. Jane Smith, Ms. Jane Smith, etc.), address and telephone number.

Send your request to…

Telephone Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9014
Farmingdale NY  11735-9014

Direct Mail Marketing

To have your name and address removed from lists associated with DIRECT MAIL MARKETING you must make your request in writing.  Your request must contain your name, other names you use or have used, and your address.

Send your request to…

Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9014
Farmingdale NY  11735-9014