Safety & Crime Prevention
In case of emergency: Police: (518) 842-1100 | Fire/Medical: Dial 911
The Amsterdam Police Department strives to provide a safe, crime free community for the residents of the City of Amsterdam. Their hard work, dedication and commitment to public safety have made Amsterdam a very safe place for you and your family to live. Below are just a few examples of things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a crime. Listed below are some simple steps parents and children can take to make themselves and their family safer.
- Lock all outside doors before you leave or go to bed.
- Lock all windows.
- Leave lights on when you go out.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don't allow daily deliveries to accumulate.
- Arrange to have your lawn cut in summer and driveway shoveled in winter when you are away.
- Never leave keys in obvious "hiding places" outside (in planters, under the mat, in mailboxes).
- Keep a detailed list of valuables (many use a video camera to inventory their homes) and store the list or tape outside the home.
- Be a good neighbor - If you notice anything suspicious in the neighborhood call the Amsterdam Police at once.
Tips for Protecting your children:
- Know where your children are at all times.
- Know your children's friends and where they live.
- Avoid dressing children in clothing which displays their name.
- Make it a habit to know what you child is wearing every day.
- Be alert for teenagers or adults who pay an unusual amount of attention to your child or give inappropriate or expensive gifts.
- Be sensitive to changes in your children's behavior. These changes are a signal that you should sit down and talk to them about what is causing the changes.
- Teach your children to trust their senses and that they have the right to say no to what they sense is wrong.
- When separated in a public place a child should go directly to an employee or clerk at a desk and ask for help. Young children shouldn't wander around looking for parents.
- Teach your child the definition of stranger: anyone he or she doesn't know. Children often think of "strangers" as slovenly or sneaky-looking, causing them to accept clean-cut, but potentially dangerous strangers.
- Adults rarely ask children for directions or help; and a child should never approach or get in the car of a stranger. Remember these tips when in public places like shopping malls and stores:
- Walk in pairs. When possible don't walk alone.
- When walking to your car:
- Have your keys in your hand.
- Have a small flashlight on your key chain.
- Look in your car prior to entering it.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Check for persons following you.
- Never leave a store or mall with an unknown person. A tactic used by abductors is to get women out of the mall by telling her about a car accident involving her vehicle in the parking lot.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Safety
To prevent robbery while using an ATM, consider the following tips:
- Have your card out prior to leaving your vehicle.
- Look around the area before exiting your vehicle. If suspicious persons or vehicles are spotted, use another machine.
- Choose ATMs that are well lit and visible to the street. Consider using ATMs which are located inside supermarkets or other visible areas.
- Put your money away quickly.
- Look around again as you leave the ATM and approach your vehicle.
- Never write your PIN number on your card, on the sleeve the card is contained in or anywhere in your wallet.
What to do if You are the Victim of a Crime
Assault and Harassment
Any time a person is involved in a confrontation, emotions run high. Seek a safe place and contact the Police Department immediately. Safety and medical attention for any injuries sustained are the first priority. If you would like to contact the Police Department (518-842-1100) about pressing charges for the injuries you have sustained, remember the following points:
- Contact the police station to speak to an officer (if officers were not present when the incident occurred).
- Keep any forms given to you when you were treated at an emergency department or doctor's office. These will be important documentation of your injuries.
Aggravated Harassment is the penal law term for crimes which use electronic means to annoy, alarm or harass another. The most common form of Aggravated Harassment is the annoying phone call. Most annoying or threatening phone calls do not result in violence. Many are random pranks. If you are concerned about these phone calls there are several steps you can take to increase the chance of apprehending the person making the calls. These include:
- Keep a log of the date, time, and brief content of the calls.
- Use the *57 feature if it is available (there is a cost to use this feature). Using *69 will call that person back but will not provide any evidence of where the call originated from. It also could cause a confrontation with the caller.
- Contact your telephone carrier (landline or wireless) to report the problem and receive additional advice.
- Save any answering machine tapes with the suspect's calls on it.
You may contact the Police Department any time you are concerned or feel unsafe. Following the instructions above will help achieve a quick resolution to your case.
Crimes Involving Theft (larceny, burglary)
- If your home or office has been broken into avoid touching anything and contact the Police immediately. This may preserve crucial evidence.
- If you are not sure whether it is safe to enter after a theft (the perpetrator may still be present) go to a safe place and contact the Police Department immediately.
- Compile a detailed list of all items stolen. Include serial numbers where available.
- Notify banks and credit card companies if checks, credit cards or ATM cards were stolen.
Record the serial numbers of other valuable possessions for future reference. Use a video camera to inventory personal items. Store the tape away from the home (in a safe deposit box). The tape will also be valuable for insurance purposes in the event of fire.