From the Mayor: Valuable Home Safety Services Offered by Bronxville Police Department Print


Oct. 2, 2013:  At the extremely successful "Salute to Seniors Day" this past Saturday, where we said a village-wide thank you for all the contributions of our senior citizens, our police chief was perhaps the most listened-to speaker as he shared safety tips with the audience.

Much of the information seems so applicable to all our residents, not just our seniors, and thus worth sharing with a wider audience.

Our police department offers many safety services that add to the peace and security of village life. 

As an example:

  • Residents can leave a house or apartment key at the police department, where it will be stored in a secure and locked cabinet. It can be signed out for something as mundane as a lockout to being used by police and fire emergency services. As illustration, just last week, a 90-year-old-plus resident fell during the night and could not reach the door. Because we had her key on file, the police did not have to smash in her door or call a relative or the super and were able to get her medical aid immediately.

  • Our police will also do a security evaluation of residences, advising on door and window locks, whether more lighting is needed or if trees and hedges should be trimmed to enhance visibility.

  • If away, even for only a few days, a call to our department for a "dark house" patrol will result in an officer checking on your property daily.

  • It is extremely helpful if you alert our police department to any particular needs of the home occupants--whether someone is hard of hearing, wheelchair bound, or has emotional needs. Our police department can then tailor their response to one's particular situation, resulting in a better and tailored response. 

Some other vacation tips include:

  • Putting timers on TVs and radios as well as lights so the house appears occupied.

  • Phone ringers, especially in apartments, should be lowered as an audible persistently ringing phone is a sign of an empty apartment.

  • Ask a neighbor to pick up the PennySaver or other advertisements that cannot be cancelled, as the red wrappers in a driveway are a public notice that no one is home.

  • Even when home, cars should always be locked and valuables removed from plain site. The vast majority of our car thefts are not break-ins, rather, crimes of opportunity when unlocked doors are tried, opened, and GPS, money, and valuables taken.

  • If upon return to your home you think something has been disturbed, do not enter your residence; rather, dial 911 from the street or a neighbor's home.  If you enter your home, the intruder could still be inside and/or you might touch items and destroy anything of evidentiary value.
  • It is important to note that the Bronxville as well as the Eastchester and Tuckahoe Police Departments never solicit support by phone, so any such funds raised never reach the departments.

  • Just recently, residents have been receiving very professional-looking notices alerting them to "free" airline tickets or lotteries they have won, all just requiring a small check to secure the huge prize. As a rule, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  • A more insidious recent scam is transmitted through the email system as well as the phone. A "concerned" person alerts someone that a friend's wallet was stolen or a grandchild's car broken down, and money must be sent immediately. The perpetrators are quite clever, often knowing the correct names of the grandchildren or friend in need.

Some other excellent safety tips shared by Chief Satriale include: 

  • Keeping car and house keys on separate rings and unlabeled, so if lost, cars and homes are not vulnerable to theft.

  • Medications and their doses, blood type, and special medical conditions of each family member should be in an envelope on a bulletin board or affixed to the refrigerator so that if EMS is needed, the responders will immediately know your allergies or particular medical needs. These have proved to be lifesaving documents.

  • When moving into a new dwelling, always have the locks re-keyed or changed.

  • If living alone, only list your last name on the mailbox and in the telephone directory.

  • Always ask for identification before allowing any service worker into your home. Unfortunately, uniforms of various companies are not that difficult to purchase to deceive a homeowner to gain entry.

  • And finally, if you see or hear anything suspicious, do not hesitate to call the police and do so immediately. As trained professionals, let them make the final determination of the activity.