The FBI, local and state law enforcement from throughout the U.S., as well as Scotland Yard in London, believe that it is better to prevent crime than solve it. This came home to me in 1975 when FBI Director Clarence Kelly selected 8 agents, two apiece from four field offices, to join with 8 police officers, two each from four cities, to form 4 man teams to develop citizen participation programs to prevent crimes through self-help efforts. My friend Leon Sizemore and I were chosen by Director Kelly to represent the Birmingham FBI, embedding with the Birmingham PD under Chief James Parsons, joining officers Joe Warden and Earl Melton, two of the city’s very best in blue. Leon and I loved this assignment, which lasted two years.
The Birmingham Crime Prevention team addressed burglaries. We did countless speeches and appearances before civilian groups and the media. Here are two tips about preventing burglaries.
First, don’t tape notes to your front or back doors that announce that you are gone and when you will be returning home. If you really must pen a note before you leave home, write this: “Be back in 2 hours. Don’t worry about the snake. He usually doesn’t bite.
A construction site in California was burglarized almost nightly. In frustration, the foreman nailed up a large sign that read: “No trespassing! Anyone found here at night will be shot!” The chief of police received complaints about the sign from citizens and asked the foreman to take down the sign. He did, replacing it with this: “No trespassing! Anyone found here at night will be found here in the morning.”