As a part of the comprehensive police services provided by the Division, prevention education programs are available to the general public on a daily basis.
Digital Fingerprinting for Children
Fingerprints and current photographs are essential tools in searching for a missing child. This program provides parents with fingerprint cards and photographs of their children in case of emergency. The program is offered year-round to schools, churches, community groups, and businesses. More than 1,000 children have been fingerprinted and photographed as part of this initiative since 2001.
Self-Defense for Women
The Self-Defense for Women course, now in its 12th year, is designed to educate women in our community to reduce their risk of becoming victims of crime. The course is offered 6 times per year.
Though some portions of the class are physical, the women are mainly taught that if they can simply run, that's what they should do. However, if running is not an option, a variety of escape techniques are taught. This is not a martial arts course. The course teaches participants to use what is available naturally to them.
The three rules women are taught are: they should react immediately in a dangerous situation, resist an attack, and crime scene two is always worse than crime scene one. Statistics prove that the possibility of physical injury is more likely if a woman allows herself to be moved to another location..
2013 Women's Self-Defense brochure
Personal Safety Presentation
P.A.L.S. (Puppets And Lessons on Safety)
P.A.L.S. was developed as another tool to teach children the importance of safety. Volunteers from the Division and the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association act as puppeteers. The main character, Officer Ollie, and his friends speak to children on a variety of safety topics. The topics include: 9-1-1, bullies, traffic and pedestrian safety, bike safety, respecting others, strangers, buckling seatbelts, answering the door and telephone, and a host of other topics.
Officer Ollie and his friends have performed at the annual Bicycle Rodeo and Cops and Kids Day. The puppets also perform for local preschool, kindergarten, second grade classes, and nursing homes.
More than 350 pre-school children have come to "Safety City" to learn about safety and how to deal with emergencies in their neighborhood. Children ride around miniature streets passing library, school, fire, and police buildings, McDonalds and many other well-known shops. Small road signs and traffic signals are installed. Classes meet everyday of a two-week session with parents attending a graduation on the last day.
Westerville Safety City
Citizen Police Academy
The Citizen Police Academy continues to grow in popularity, and classes are offered in February and August. The Academy is an extension of the Division's community education efforts.
The purpose of the academy is to increase citizen awareness of the day-to-day operation of the Police Division. Curriculum is designed to educate students on topics relative to the role of the police officer in our community.
Veteran police officers and certified police instructors conduct all instruction for the Academy. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to the traditional Police Academy, but are not designed to train students as police officers.
The Citizen Police Academy is an opportunity to show how serious our commitment is to the community. It is our hope that graduates of the Citizen Police Academy take their knowledge into the community and educate others when the opportunity arises and make decisions that affect the city and Police Division with heightened awareness and better information. Additionally, graduates become extra eyes and ears to observe and report crimes or suspicious activities throughout our area.
Citizen Police Academy Brochure
Citizen Police Academy Page
Serving Our Seniors Day (S.O.S.)
The Westerville Division of Police recognizes the need to educate our senior citizen population about crime prevention. Many seniors are fearful of crime, however, with education their fears can be lessened. There are many simple precautions that can be taken to lessen a person's chances of being victimized. The Westerville Police will be offering a full day of education for seniors on safety and crime prevention. Serving Our Senior's Day (S.O.S.) is scheduled for Saturday March 30, 2013 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM at Westerville North High School.
Neighborhood Block Watch
Block Watch enlists the participation of citizens in cooperation with the police to reduce crime in our neighborhoods. This involves citizens getting to know each other and working together in a program of mutual assistance; citizens being trained to recognize and report suspicious activity and the implementation of crime prevention strategies. With training and guidance from law enforcement, a Block Watch can become a united and committed team, working on safety concerns within their community.
A monthly newsletter maintains communication between the Division of Police and residents. In addition, it provides the residents with helpful crime prevention tips, and crime statistics specific to their individual neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Watch Organizational Presentation
National Night Out
National Night Out is an annual event, held the first Tuesday of August. This year's event marks National Night Out's 30th Anniversary and takes place on August 6th, 2013. The event is designed to (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for local anti-crime programs; (3) Promote neighborhood pride and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Last year’s event was a great success and this year we anticipate the event will be bigger and better. Westerville's National Night Out event is unique because the venues are hosted by individual neighborhoods. Participating neighborhoods host block parties with activities including: potlucks, karaoke, face painting, raffles, police car rides, and appearances by W.P.D. officers & "Safety Friends" (including PC: The Patrol Car and McGruff the Crime Dog.) For more details, please call (614) 901- 6860.
National Night Out Presentation
(Halt Auto Break-Ins Today) is designed to promote awareness and to provide helpful prevention information to reduce the number of auto break-ins in the Westerville area.
While officers are patrolling parking lots and streets, if they locate any vehicles that are unlocked or have property visible inside, the officers obtain the owner information. The owner is contacted by letter stressing the importance of securing their vehicles and property to prevent theft.
Cops & Kids Day
Cops & Kids Day is designed to provide children of all ages the opportunity to interact with law enforcement officers and to see, touch, and learn about equipment and activities police agencies utilize such as helicopters, cruisers, K-9, mounted patrols, S.W.A.T., bike patrol, D.A.R.E., police and fire dive teams, rescue boats and simulated rescue operations.
Safety forces from around Ohio participate in an effort to interact with the community and show not only the traditional but also the non-traditional aspects of law enforcement. Competitions such as softball tournaments, D.A.R.E. car competition, and cruiser competitions, are held throughout the day for the participating agencies. Cops & Kids Day
D.A.R.E. Officers Dan Pignatelli and Carrie O'Neil present the D.A.R.E. program in 11 elementary schools. The D.A.R.E. program is a life skills based prevention effort that concentrates on self-esteem building, consequence recognition, risk analysis, and strengthening a child’s overall decision-making skills. D.A.R.E. teaches alternative activities to drug abuse and other destructive behavior. It has been successful not only in teaching resistance skills, but in strengthening the relationship between the Division and the community. Approximately 850 fifth grade students have graduated from the D.A.R.E. Core program in 2011. These officers also make presentations to kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade students. The middle school curriculum will also be presented to more than 900 students by the designated School Resource Officers. The Third Grade Safety Belt Program sponsored by the Ohio Department of Public Safety was presented to students throughout the city. This program stresses the importance of safety belt usage and encourages students to remind others in the car to “BUCKLE UP".
Call (614) 901-6860 for more information about our community events.
2013 Police Community Service Calendar of Events
Crime Prevention Presentations