Community Relations Unit
CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (CPTED) AND SPECIAL USE PERMITS (SUP) REVIEW: The purpose of this program is to provide assistance to the City’s Planning and Zoning Department by reviewing special use permits and building blueprints for future development in the City. This process was implemented to provide input in the design of areas that will be less susceptible to crime. This program gives us a chance to affect the opportunity of a criminal committing a crime in a particular area due to the fact that a building or structure was completed without taking certain crime prevention measures into consideration. Due to our involvement in this program, many crime prevention recommendations are now routinely incorporated into site plan requirements by the Planning and Zoning Department.
ROBBERY AWARENESS: This program is presented to businesses requesting a presentation on robbery prevention strategies and techniques. We also take the initiative to contact every business in the City that has had the unfortunate occurrence of being robbed, to offer this program as a means to prevent future robberies.
The Robbery Awareness program is offered to every business along with a Business Security Survey. The program is a standard recommendation made by the Community Relations Unit for appropriate businesses applying for a Special Use Permit.
HOME AND BUSINESS SECURITY SURVEYS: This program is offered to all residents and businesses in the City. Home security surveys are an integral part of the Neighborhood Watch Program. The surveys are one of our most effective programs.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Neighborhood Watch has been in existence in Alexandria since 1982. However, in recent years, the participation by communities in the program has declined. This is partly due to a perceived reduced need for the program because of the overall reduction in crime rates. Another reason for the decline is the transient nature of City residents making it difficult to establish and maintain consistent watch groups.
HELP ELIMINATE AUTO THEFT (HEAT) AND VIN ETCHING: These two programs are sponsored by the Department of Virginia State Police in partnership with law enforcement agencies throughout Virginia.
HEAT is a program implemented to report information regarding auto thefts, the theft of auto parts, car jacking, chop-shop activity and theft rings. A tip leading to an arrest for an auto theft related crime in Virginia can lead up to a $25,000 dollar reward.
VIN Etching is a new program in which the Vehicle Identification Number is permanently marked on each window of the vehicle.
YOUTH CITIZENS’ POLICE ACADEMY: The curriculum is similar to the Citizens’ Police Academy. The major difference is that the sessions are conducted in one week, held Monday through Friday during the summer when the youth are out of school.