Safety Tips

Scam Smart Seniors – Steps to Avoiding Scams

Our Community Services Division offers “Scam Smart Seniors,” a class on identifying scams, and protecting financial info.

We know many of the seniors in our community do not have the fast world of social media available at their fingertips, so we wanted to work to bring the information to them. Our incredible Community Services team makes time to travel to our Senior Center, Retirement Communities and even church groups with the “Savvy Saving Seniors” class. This class is dedicated to arming our senior community with steps to identify scams or fraudulent activity so that they don’t become the next victim.

To learn more about it or to schedule a class at your facility, contact Community Services today! 817-427-7021 or by email: Officer McEachran: rmceachran@nrhtx.com or Officer Kasterke: gkasterke@nrhtx.com

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Warrant Scam

We’ve been made aware of yet another scam circulating our town regarding a phone call about warrants!

While our volunteers DO make courtesy warrant notification calls from our main police line, we can assure you that we will NEVER ask for financial information, ask you to call another out of state number, or ask you to pay your warrant in gift cards or iTunes cards.

The warrant calls we do make, that occur on every other Wednesday, are simply a courtesy notification and direct you to visit the court in person to handle your unpaid fines – NOT to make any payments over the phone.

Should you receive the spoof/scam call, please report to the FTC via https://www.ftc.gov/complaint and do NOT provide any financial or identifying information over the phone.

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Painted Address on Curbs

We were made aware that people are going door to door stating they are with the City and Police/Fire Departments and have been sent to paint house numbers on curbs.

While the Public Safety Departments encourage homeowners to have their address prominently displayed out front, we can assure you that we are not requiring or endorsing any service that may be going door to door selling the curb painting of house numbers. Should you encounter someone doing this, give dispatch a ring and provide them with a description of the subjects (817-281-1000) or check their solicitor permit status via the city website. NRH Solicitor Permits

Having a properly numbered house does make it safer for first responders and residents, as it allows us to locate and access locations faster. But again, curbside addresses are neither a requirement or an endorsement effort by the City or Police/Fire Departments.

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SnapMap

We realize that this may be considered “old news,” however we think it’s worth sharing again! With the ever evolving world of social media, and millions of new users signing on daily, it’s worth a refresher!

**👻Snapchat👻 lovers and parents of those who love Snap**

The map, we have to talk about it. It’s the elephant in the room…

The ‘Snap Map’ connects via your phones GPS and automatically updates the map with your location. This allows others to see exactly where you are, even if you’re not snapping. We recommend turning on ‘Ghost Mode’ to prevent sharing your location.

To turn on Ghost Mode, pinch the screen when the app is open and the map should appear. If it’s your first time doing so, it will prompt you with the option to go in to ghost mode. If it doesn’t, click the gear icon in the top right corner. Then flip the ‘switch’ to turn Ghost Mode on.

Please be safe when using social media!

 

E-Mail Scams – Don’t fall victim

Double check the validity of an email requesting money from you. If it sounds fishy, it likely is!

We have received some recent reports about emails circulating requesting money to help someone that’s in a “bad situation.” The emails may be short, abrupt and use incorrect language or they may be lengthy, well written and tug at your heart strings using local businesses or names you are familiar with. If you question the validity of the request, don’t be afraid to ask. Check the email address (usually a give away!), logos, phone numbers, addresses etc. If it sounds fishy, it likely is. Trust your instinct!

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-Carissa Katekaru

Public Information Officer/Media Relations Coordinator

Office 817-427-7076  || ckatekaru@nrhtx.com

 

 

Facebook algorithms and you

Friends, fans, followers and those who just stop by occasionally,

We have to discuss something… something big… algorithm. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines algorithm as “a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.”

Now you’re thinking “what on earth does this have to do with me?” – allow us to explain. Your ability to interact and see what we (and other pages) share is controlled by something larger than us, the Facebook algorithm. Mark Zuckerburg recently announced some big changes coming to the Facebook world, and we want to make sure you’re prepared. He and his team will be adjusting the algorithm of Facebook to show “less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media.” So how does this affect your Facebooking experience? Well, you’ll see more posts from your friends and family members and less from pages you’ve liked… us, the news media pages, your favorite shop and so on.

We’ve known for quite some time that your ability to see our posts is math based. All 15,538 fans can’t possibly LOVE our Battle of the Badges video, our public safety tips, where the motor guys will be hiding or who we need your help identifying on a fraud case. Understandable.

For many followers, Zuckerburg hit the nail on the head; you want to see less from the pages you follow. But this has many government agencies a bit concerned. This could directly impact our ability to communicate with you, even in times of crisis, as our ranking of making it to your Facebook feed will be dramatically decreased.

We have to be honest – we enjoy sharing our story with you, engaging with you, and chatting with you. Should you decide that we’re still your cup of tea, here is a way you can ensure that we show up a little more in that news feed:

When you click on our page choose “See First.” (see the picture) Hover over “Following” near the cover photo, and then select “See First.” If you’re feeling really froggy, turn notifications on. We promise not to blow up your News Feed with random pictures but rather meaningful information. We share videos, a picture of your favorite K9’s working, the good work the officers are doing in your community and urgent information. We try to post about once or twice a day, so we won’t fill your feed up.

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If you’re looking for other ways to follow us, head over to: Twitter @NRHPD – we use this during active/breaking news incidents, Instagram: @nrh_publicsafety, our Blog: www.nrhpdmedia.com or on NextDoor! We’ll still be here to interact, engage, help answer any questions and try to provide a laugh or two along the way.

Sincerely,

The North Richland Hills Police Department

Social Media Safety for Children

With the ever changing world of social and digital media, and the growing interest of children wanting to hop on this trend, are you prepared to help safeguard them from the dangers?

We know, your kids are interested in the fast world of social media, ours are too. But how can you keep them safe from potential dangers lurking out there? The biggest impact you can make is being present. Monitoring. Openly discussing things with them. As parents, we are our child’s advocate,  and mentor, so it’s our job to help guide them.

 

A few ways to keep your children safe(er) on social media:

1. Keep your child’s profile private so that only family and people you know see photos, important dates and other information.

2. Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, home address, and the name of their school or Social Security number.

3. Only allow them to publish photos and videos that don’t jeopardize their safety or their integrity.

4. Make sure they choose a strong password that can’t be guessed, and that it gets changed every three months.

5. Never allow them to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.

6. Keep an open dialogue with your children. Ask them to let you know if they’ve received private messages from a stranger, or from someone at school who is teasing, harassing or threatening them. Those could be signs of cyber-bullying or even a sexual predator.

 

Have an open dialogue with your children about current trends in social media. One “trend” circulating the inter-webs, started in Russia and has made its way over to the US. It’s called the “Blue Whale Challenge,” which is a suicide dare game. While we haven’t had any reported incidents in our area, we want to alert parents to it, so you can monitor. Our friends at Miami Police Department put together an informative video about the Blue Whale Challenge:

As always, reach out if you have any questions. We’ll be here.

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Resources:

https://kids.usa.gov/parents/online-safety/six-tips-for-keeping-teens-safe-on-social-media/index.shtml 

Miami Police Department Facebook

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

 

Keeping you Informed

In keeping you informed, our department received a report of a possible assault behind a business, located near a biking trail in the 7600 block of Mid Cities Blvd.  However, at this time we do not have evidence to validate an assault occurred. As such, we do not believe there to be any threat to the community at this time as the department continues to fully investigate the matter.

As always, remain conscious of your surroundings and be sure to call 9-1-1 if you see any suspicious activity. Remember, if you see something, say something.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & SnapChat! 

www.facebook.com/nrhpd     |     @NRHPD

Facebook Live Beat Meetings

In an effort to offer our community an opportunity to meet in a relaxed, informal environment with their beat officer, we invite our community members to join us for our FIRST ever online Facebook Live Beat Meetings! What better way to interact than from the comfort of your home!

The goal of the beat meetings is to address any concerns that those in a specific beat may have, answer any police related questions, and help educate the public about general safety and Crime Prevention. For two weeks prior to the events, we invite residents to send questions to us: nrhpdsocial@nrhtx.com, please remember to include your target beat with your question! 

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We heard your feedback about the inability to find your beat, so our GIS Map personnel did an outstanding job creating a larger than life “book” for you to locate which beat you reside in. Please feel free to send us an email if you’re still unsure: nrhpdsocial@nrhtx.com.

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Full City View

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District/Beat 1

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District/Beat 2

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District/Beat 3

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District/Beat 4

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District/Beat 5

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District/Beat 6

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District/Beat 7

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District/Beat 8

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & SnapChat! 

www.facebook.com/nrhpd     |     @NRHPD

Helmet Safety

Wearing a helmet can not only save your head, but it can save your life!

 

Spring is upon us, which means great cycling weather. We all know that our city has a great trail system, dedicated to getting families out together. We want to remind you of the importance of bicycle safety (as well as motorcycle safety!).

In 2015, 818 cyclists and 4,693 motorcyclists were killed in traffic related accidents. Annually, over 26,000 of bicycle related injuries treated in Emergency Departments to children and adolescents were related to traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s).  These numbers continue to climb, as more and more people do not practice helmet safety.

With the help of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  and the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA), we compiled some tips to keep cyclists safe:

Cyclist Safety:

Follow the rules of the road – obey traffic laws:

  • Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet
  • Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit
  • Check Your Equipment – check tire inflation, gears, chains etc.
  • Ride on the right side of the road-with the traffic flow, not against it
  • Obey traffic signs and signals just as if you were driving a car
  • Use correct hand signalshandsignals
  • Stop at all signs and red lights; and
  • Stop and look both ways before entering a street
  • If riding at dawn, at dusk, or at night, wear reflective clothing & make sure that the bike has a front headlight and a rear red reflector or flashing red light

Motorcyclist Safety:

Follow the rules of the road:

  • Wear a Helmet
  • Wear Safety Gear – not only is it important to protect your head, but protect feet and hands too
  • Leave enough space for stopping
  • Make sure you are properly licensed
  • Share the road
  •  Do not ride impaired

If you have any questions, tips, or just want to chat – reach out! We’ll be here! 

Resources/References:
https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/headinjuries.html
http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm 
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles
https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/KidsandBikeSafetyWeb/index.htm
https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles
http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/4740/what-hand-signals-are-there-for-communicating-with-others-when-cycling-in-a-grou

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & SnapChat! 

www.facebook.com/nrhpd     |     @NRHPD