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Tiger Watch Safe Zone
“We are here if you need us” is the mantra of the Tiger Watch Safe Zone program just announced by the Belle Plaine Police Department. Police Chief Tom Stolee created this one-of-a-kind program for the safety and benefit of all children and individuals in Belle Plaine. The purpose is to heighten community awareness and foster relationships that enhance safety.
You will be able to distinguish participants of the program by the Tiger Watch logo (shown to the right) displayed on official city vehicles, in windows of city buildings and a few select businesses. The Tiger Watch Safe Zone program does not replace the neighborhood watch and no private residences will be participating. When you see the Tiger Watch Safe Zone sticker, it is a safe place to get help if you are threatened or feel unsafe. City staff and other participants have gone through extensive background checks and have been trained to be the first contact and will stay with the person until appropriate help has been called. As part of the teaching process, Police Chief Stolee will be going to the Belle Plaine Public Schools in September to talk with the teachers and students about Tiger Watch Safe Zones.
Tiger Watch Safe Zones
Official Belle Plaine City Vehicles
|Belle Plaine Police Cars|
|Belle Plaine Police Department|
Belle Plaine City Hall
As a part of this program, Police Chief Stolee is sharing information that will be helpful to parents in teaching their children good safety habits.
Information for parents……
- Have you taken time to teach your child safety rules in a clear way that the child can understand?
- Do you have a family safety plan, including a family secret password?
- Could you give the police a complete description of your child -- a description so specific that the child would be immediately recognizable? (Do you keep a current photograph of your child on hand?)
- Do you know what type of clothing (color, etc.) your child was wearing when he or she left the house?
- Do you use check-in procedures so you always know where your child is?
- Do you know the neighbors who live around you?
- Do you know what a Tiger Watch Safe Zone is? Have you taught your child how to flag one down or go to one if s/he needs help?
- Do you know the route(s) your child uses to and from school or their friends' homes?
- Have you taken a "safety walk" with your children over routes they often travel to agree on preferred and alternate routes so that hazards will be avoided?
- Can you describe to your child what a stranger is?
- Have you talked with your child about what to do if approached by a stranger? Can your child explain it in his/her own words?
- Have you removed markings from your child's clothing that would help someone know your child's name (name visible on shirt or backpack, etc.)?
- Do you know the safety procedures for taking your children shopping with you?
- Do you know your children's friends, their parents' names and phone numbers?
- Do you have current identifying information about each of your children? Do you know where it is?
- Are there any Tiger Watch Safe Zones in your neighborhood or community? If so, have you pointed them out to your child and told him/her how to use them?
Walk With Your Child
Parents should walk or ride with their child along their routes to and from school and point out:
- Any places the child should avoid such as deserted alleys or buildings, vacant lots, or recessed doorways.
- Use this walk as an opportunity to discuss all aspects of crime prevention with the child. She/he should know that being alert, aware, and prepared is not the same as being frightened or careless.
Be sure your child knows:
- His/her full name and address, including city and state.
- His/her full telephone number, including area code.
- How to use the telephone, both push button and dial, to make local, long distance, and emergency calls, and to reach the operator.
- To use the buddy system at play or going to and from school.
- That a stranger is someone you don't know.
- That if the child is being followed by a car or person on foot, she/he should flag down the nearest Police or Tiger Watch Safe Zone vehicle or run to the nearest Tiger Watch Safe Zone if possible.
- Never to go anywhere with another adult, even one who says the parent has sent him/her unless permission was given beforehand. (Use a family "password" to be given by any non-family adult if they are to pick up your child. Teach the child that she/he must never tell this password to anyone else.)
- That harm can come from people they know, as well as strangers.
- Strangers often use enticements, asking children to help them find a lost puppy, offering to pay for a video game, or asking children to take a walk to "show" them something.
- That there are many adults children can trust and ask for help such as parents, school principal, teachers, family members, law enforcement officers, etc.
Stress to your child:
- That you want to be told whenever anything happens that makes your child feel strange or "funny" in any way.
- That you cannot be with your child at all times, and the child can help keep him/herself safe by always telling you when something is said or done that makes him/her feel uncomfortable.
**Tiger Watch is a community program designed to heighten community awareness and foster relationships designed to enhance safety.
**This program is not designed to replace a neighborhood watch program and as such; no private residences will be listed as Tiger Watch homes.
If you are interested in participating or learning more about the Tiger Watch Program. Please contact the Belle Plaine Police Department at 952-873-4307.