A Safer Naper
May - How We Get the Message Out
We live in a safe community, but we don’t live in a crime-free community. That's why disseminating crime prevention strategies to those that live and work in Naperville is essential.
Residents are our number one crime deterrent, but they need to know how to keep themselves and others safe. The Naperville Police Department has many proven tips to assist its residents, but we can't reach each and every resident alone; we need others to help get the word out!
Our Safer Naper theme for May highlights many of our partners in crime prevention, and they all deserve our recognition and appreciation for making, and keeping, Naperville one of the safest cities in America!
Although we can’t possibly list every entity that helps us, below are some examples of the many community resources we depend on. *Please note that the majority of the photos on this page were taken pre-COVID.
The schools help us get the word out by providing a platform for us to deliver various safety lessons to pre-school and elementary school-aged children.
Safety messages for pre-school aged children focus on personal safety, including what to do if approached by a stranger and how to call 911. Messages for elementary students build on those personal safety skills and additionally teach children how to be safe when home alone, when out in the community, and when on the internet. Our Community Education Specialists also provide programming requested by the schools, such as bike and pedestrian safety, and mock crime scene/forensic classes.
For more information on curriculum topics for each grade level, click here.
Schools also partner with our SRO’s who serve as mentors and safety resources for students in 6-12th grade. They are responsible for working with school administrators, staff and faculty on developing comprehensive safety plans to ensure schools are safe places for students to learn. School resource officers work to establish positive working relationships with school administration, service agencies, parents, and students to intervene with youth concerns and deter youth from involvement in criminal acts, substance use, theft and violence. Learn more about our SRO program here.
PTA’s and Home and School organizations help us get the word out through STEM and STEAM nights, as well as safety fairs in which we are involved.
Local Businesses and Community Organizations
Local businesses and community organizations help us get the word out through their safety and crime prevention programming including personal, traffic, and senior safety. They also provide valuable resources for our residents and assist other businesses with crime prevention tactics. Some examples and highlights of their messages are listed below.
AAA The Auto Club Group
We partner with AAA to educate our residents about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. They assist with teaching Driver’s Ed students about distracted driving by providing a texting and driving simulator for our use. We use the simulator as an effective tool to demonstrate what happens when a driver texts and drives. We also have been involved with their PROMise campaign, which brings awareness about impaired driving during prom and graduation season. Students sign a pledge not to drink and drive or get in a vehicle with someone impaired. Awareness about bike and pedestrian safety, especially as it relates to the beginning of the school year when schools are open again, is another way they help keep our residents safe.
Keeping our roadways safe for everyone is a priority we share with AARP. Together we teach their Smart Driver class. These classes, geared towards mature drivers 50 years old and older, emphasize safe driving strategies as they relate to common crash situations, how age affects driving, and avoiding common mistakes older drivers make. Topics discussed include speed, braking distance, occupant protection, the effects of alcohol and medications on driving, and how to minimize distractions.
Naperville Park District
Many of Naperville’s hiking and bike trails are found on Naperville Park District land, and they assist us in getting the word out about proper etiquette and safety while using these amenities. For many summers we partnered with them to educate residents on helmet use, hand signals and other bike safety protocols. Community Radio Watch members and Park District Police handed out bike “Citations” that offered a free ice cream cone to bicyclists “caught” wearing a helmet and practicing safe riding. Officers also distributed important trail information.
Community Radio Watch
Naperville Community Radio Watch (CRW) is made up of a group of citizen volunteers who are interested in helping their community. Members receive specialized training from police department personnel and assist the NPD by being additional observers of suspicious/criminal activity, providing supervised security at Naperville special events, and acting as additional eyes and ears. Beside assisting with the Bike Safety Citations, they have also helped get the word out about holiday safety. Learn more about the Community Radio Watch.
Naperville Public Libraries
Our three public libraries in Naperville have been long-time supporters of our safety messages. They invite us to participate in special reading programs, which gives us the opportunity to interact with some of our youngest residents in a positive atmosphere. They also have provided space to hold important crime prevention seminars and workshops, including those pertaining to burglary prevention and frauds and scams.
Exchange Club of Naperville
The Exchange Club of Naperville shares our values of community service and the prevention of child abuse. They are proud sponsors of the Naperville Police Department Crime Prevention Calendar, and they also help fund the “On Your Own” booklet that every third-grade student in Naperville receives as a follow-up to our home alone program. Together, we help families and students learn how to stay safe.
Many Naperville businesses help us spread our messages, whether it’s opening their locations for “Chat with the Chief” forums, offering their roofs for “Cop on the Rooftop,” partnering with us for Special Olympics, or allowing us to place our messages on their merchandise or in their store windows.
The Naperville Confederation of Homeowner’s Association, as well as, individual homeowner’s associations, often invite the Naperville Police Department to speak about current crime trends and mitigation strategies in their neighborhoods. They additionally help us get the word out through their monthly newsletters and partnership with National Night Out.
Tour guides are ambassadors for the police department. They provide information to tour participants concerning police operations and the day-to-day duties of police personnel. During a typical year we provide over 50 tours to close to 800 participants. Pictured below is one of our volunteer tour guides giving a tour to a Daisy Troop.
Religious institutions of many faiths help get the word out by providing their congregations with important safety messages and empowering them to put them in practice. We have trained religious leaders in crime prevention principles in many settings both to assist them in keeping their places of worships safe, but also for them to disseminate important crime prevention strategies to their members. We are often on the receiving end of their kindness, as well.
Naperville Police Department Crime Prevention Calendar
The Crime Prevention Calendar is a community service project that began in 1987. The calendar was developed as a tool to reinforce good safety rules and to create a partnership between the schools, service organizations and the police department. It is a community project that brings awareness about crime prevention in a creative way.
The students create the artwork that is featured in the calendar. Parents and teachers select the posters that will represent each school, and the final selection for the calendar occurs at the police department. Each year, approximately 23,000 calendars are printed and distributed free of charge to students in grades K-5 in all area elementary schools.
This long-standing community icon assists us in getting the word out through its various safety programs, including their regular summer programming for 5-7 year-olds, Babysitting Safety, Safe@Home Classes (a home alone safety program), and Bike Safety Nights. NPD personnel are co-instructors for all of the listed programs.
The Naperville Police Department is committed to our local Scouts. Scouts help get the word out by working through their merit badges and rank advancements and then sharing their knowledge with their units, friends and families. Boy Scouts are offered three Merit Badge workshops each year: Crime Prevention, Fingerprinting and Traffic Safety.
Cub Scouts and Jr. Girl Scouts learn all about forensic science and detective work. Below is a Cub Scout learning all about fingerprints.