Officers can’t be everywhere, so citizen involvement is essential to fight crime. Neighbors cooperating with each other and with the police are the best ways to fight crime in the community. Neighborhood Watch members place signs in their windows and signs on their streets warning criminals that there is an active Neighborhood Watch Program in their community. You may have seen the signs already.
If you are interested in learning about, starting, or joining or a Neighborhood Watch Program, contact Tom Madigan at the Pinole Police Department at (510) 724-9838.
- Holiday Crime Prevention Tips (Powerpoint)
- ATM Use
- Bicycle Safety
- Carseat Guidelines
- Pocket Bikes, Scooters, and the Law
- Shopping and Driving
- Shopping with Kids
- Protect Yourself Against Email Fraud (Phishing)
- "You've Won Money"
Slide shows will require the Powerpoint Viewer which can be downloaded here. Download speeds vary with connection speed.
- Debit and Credit cards are safer than cash.
- If someone is loitering near the ATM or it appears unsafe, go to another. Stand so a person cannot see your PIN.
- Don't carry your PIN on you or attached to your card.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet. Bicycle helmets can reduce head injuries by 85 percent.
- Make sure your helmet is snug and flat atop your head. Click here for pictures showing how a helmet should be worn (show your kids).
- Children's helmets include extra padding to ensure a proper fit (you remove padding as the child's head grows).
- Make sure your bike is adjusted properly. You should be able to stand over the top tube. Handlebars should be firm and turn easily, wheels straight and secure. Check brakes before riding (hand brake levers should not touch the handlebars).
- Wear bright clothing and avoid biking at night. Use reflectors and be aware of traffic, especially when entering an intersection or changing lanes.
- Be aware of potential obstacles - don't dart into traffic.
- Ride on the right side of the street (in the same direction as traffic). Ride in a straight predictable path.
- Children should not ride in the street. Make sure they know to be extra-careful near driveways and intersections (over 70% of car-bicycle accidents occur in these areas).
- The Pinole Fire Department will provide a bike helmet to children living in Pinole, as inventory allows. For more information call (510) 724-8970.
- Click here for additional bicycle & helmet resources.
- Children must be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) until they are at least 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds.
- This is a NEW LAW. Click here for information on booster seats and how to secure older children.
- The safest place for your child is the BACK SEAT (ideally in the center position). All children age 12 and under should ride in the back seat.
- Infants under 1 year (or 22 lbs) should be in REAR-FACING seats.
- The Pinole Fire Department has trained firefighters who can install your child's car seat properly. For more information call (510) 724-8970.
- Most safety seats are not installed correctly! For installation tips, help choosing a carseat and other helpful information, click here.
The Police Department has received many questions on the legality of pocket bikes and scooters. Basically, pocket bikes can only be driven legally on private property. They cannot be registered or driven on city streets. Scooters can be driven on city streets where the speed limit is 25 MPH or below or where there is a bicycle lane. The rider must be at least 16 years old and wearing an approved bicycle helmet. Scooters cannot be driven on San Pablo Avenue, Appian Way, Fitzgerald Drive or Tara Hills Drive. The following presentation will answer most of your concerns. Please call us if you desire further information at 510-724-8950.
- Stay alert to your surroundings.
- If you have a cell phone, take it with you.
- Park in a well-lit space away from bushes.
- Lock your car and roll up the windows.
- Don't overload yourself with packages. Take a trip back to the car if necessary with extra packages. Hide packages in trunk or under a blanket.
- Have you car keys in hand before heading to the parking lot.
- If involved in a property damage collision, drive to the nearest well-lit spot where light and other people are present.
- If a person other than the police wave you to stop, acknowledge them, but drive to the nearest well-lit spot where light and other people are present. If available, use your cell phone to tell the police you are being pulled over by an unmarked vehicle.
- Do not leave children unattended in vehicles that cannot care for themselves.
- Stay in a group. If not, make a time and place to meet.
- Teach kids to go to a store clerk or security guard if separated or if there is a problem.
- Keep children under 4 in a stroller or close to you.
- If placing your child in a shopping cart, use the safety belt. About 21,000 kids, 5 and under, are treated in emergency rooms yearly for shopping cart injuries.
- Watch your purse. Don't leave it in your cart unattended. If taken, immediately report it to the store personnel and the police.
Internet scammers casting about for people’s financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go "phishing."
Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
Phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don't respond. The message directs you to a Web site that looks just like a legitimate organization's site, but it isn't. The purpose of the bogus site? To trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, suggests these tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company's correct Web address. In any case, don't cut and paste the link in the message.
Don't email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization's Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL for a website that begins "https:" (the "s" stands for "secure"). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that updates automatically.
A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Finally, your operating system (like Windows or Linux) may offer free software "patches" to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.
Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.
Report suspicious activity to the FTC. If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft. Visit www.ftc.gov/spam to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam.
- Don't give your credit card, bank account, or personal information over the telephone.
- Don't allow anyone to come to your home unless you are certain of them.
- You don't have to pay to win.
- If it is too good to be true, it usually is.
Be sure to also visit our Emergency Info page.