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Statesboro Police Department creates crime prevention SHIELD for businesses

Statesboro Police Department creates crime prevention SHIELD for businesses

Statesboro Police Department creates crime prevention SHIELD for businesses

Cpl. Justin Samples affixes a SHIELD ...

A new safety program for area businesses may prove a beneficial tool to deter crime, and it’s free of charge.

The Statesboro Police Department recently launched the SHIELD program, “designed to promote a safer business community through education, crime prevention, and information sharing among members,” Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said Wednesday in a news release.

“The SHIELD program is designed for business owners who want to prevent criminal activities and send a signal to potential criminal elements that they care about their community,” he said. “There is no cost involved to participate in the program.”

The Statesboro Police Department provides results of a survey to the participants, along with recommendations of how to improve problem areas.

“There is no minimum rating required to become a SHIELD member and no recommendations are required by the SPD or the City of Statesboro. This information is kept confidential between the SPD and the business,” Turner said.

All information, including the original on-site survey, is turned over to the business upon completion and no records are kept by the Statesboro Police Department.

Members may also join a private online group where they can share information regarding any suspicious activity that occurs at their business.

“The sharing of information between local businesses will help to raise awareness of potential criminal activity that targets businesses in Statesboro,” Turner said. “The current online sharing platform is through an invite-only Facebook group of which only SHIELD members have access.”

In order to join the SHIELD program, a Statesboro business owner/manager will provide accurate key-holder contact information and keep the Statesboro Police Department updated of any changes. They will also need to have a Statesboro Police Officer conduct the SHIELD Security Assessment Survey at the business.

“Joining the online group is optional but highly encouraged,” Turner said.

SHIELD members will have a decal near the business’ main entrance to notify any would-be criminals that the business is serious about crime prevention and reporting suspicious activity. The decal bears the slogan, “We Share and Report All Suspicious Activity.”

“The program was designed for small businesses but can be applied to larger businesses interested in the program,” Turner said.

The first two businesses to take part in the program were Pladd Dot Music and Queensborough National Bank and Trust Company. Currently, Sea Island Bank is having the survey completed at all branches within the city.

“We were very pleased with the program and believe it will be a positive tool for Statesboro businesses to utilize,” said Lisa Glisson, assistant branch manager and security officer at Queensborough Bank. “I would encourage other businesses to contact the SPD and take advantage of this opportunity in the near future.”

For more information about the SHIELD program, contact Cpl. Justin Samples at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911.

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