The Flame - June 2012

In this issue:

  • Residents Can Take Steps to Reduce Opportunities for Crime
  • Put Down the Phone ... Just Drive
  • Ride the T to Your Summer Fun Destinations in Lawrence

Residents Can Take Steps to Reduce Opportunities for Crime

The Lawrence Police Department is working to educate residents about a concept that can be utilized to reduce opportunities for crime to happen at your home or work.

Crime Stoppers

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (pronounced SEP-TED) is a concept that involves several proven methods of reducing opportunities for crime. The concept of CPTED is a proactive approach where the focus of reducing crime shifts from the criminal element to the environment in which the potential victim lives and works. Being able to anticipate or recognize vulnerabilities and crime risks provides valuable input into how an environment should be designed and operated. CPTED is based on four overlapping strategies:

Natural Surveillance: Whether from windows, security cameras, lighting or personal vision, increasing the chance of visual sighting is a deterrent to criminal activity.

Territorial Reinforcement: This strategy is one that fosters a “vested interest” in the environment. When people feel that the area they live or work in “belongs” to them, they will be more protective and concerned about its potential for crime.

Natural Access Control: Employ elements such as doors, shrubs, fences, and gates to deny admission to an area and create a perception to the offender that there is a risk in selecting the target. Physical and mechanical means of access control (locks, bars and alarms) can supplement natural access control measures if needed.

Maintenance: Basic upkeep, repair and maintenance of property can deter crime. Neglected property can create mistreatment by residents and visitors, while maintained property will elicit proper treatment. Examples include the immediate removal of graffiti, landscape maintenance, weed abatement and the painting of buildings. Often overlooked, maintenance is critical to making sure that the expense and effort invested in the first three strategies are not wasted.

The goal of CPTED is to reduce opportunities for crime that may be inherent in the design of structures or in the design of neighborhoods. This goal is accomplished through the involvement of CPTED-trained law enforcement personnel in the planning, development and design review of community projects.

CPTED uses various tools to evaluate environmental conditions and utilize intervention methods to control human and/or criminal behavior and reduce the fear of crime. For more information on CPTED, or to arrange for a site survey, please contact the Neighborhood Resource Officers in the Lawrence Police Department’s Community Services Division at (785) 830-7410 or

How Can LPD Help?

  • During Plan Reviews: LPD can give advice during the “blueprint” stage of construction to address CPTED strategies.
  • Security Surveys: LPD can help conduct security surveys to make your living and workplaces more secure and safe for residents, employees and customers.

What Should You Review?

Look at all aspects of your home or workplace including landscaping plans, lighting plans, access areas and controls, street design, traffic controls and traffic calming devices. For your surroundings, should structures be demolished to deter criminal activity and improve the neighborhood? Look for ways to encourage neighborhood interaction and improvements including community clean-ups, sidewalk improvements, beautification, parks improvements, lot clearing and general maintenance efforts.

The Lawrence Police Department can help with pre-and-post construction surveys of your home or office and provide tips on how to make your environment safer.

Put Down the Phone ... Just Drive

In 2011, the Governors Highway Safety Administration reported that two-thirds of all drivers reported using a cell phone while driving and one-in-eight drivers reported that they text while driving. Both talking on the cell phone and texting are considered distracted driving. Distracted driving is anything that causes a driver to voluntarily divert their attention to something not related to driving that uses the driver’s eyes, ears or hands.

No Cell Phones

Teenagers often find themselves victims of distracted driving, even when it is completely possible to avoid accidents from distracted driving. According to Common Sense Media, a web-based organization that provides trustworthy information and education for parents regarding technology and media, 21 percent of fatal car crashes in 2007 involving teens age 16 to 19 were the result of cell phone usage – a trend that is expected to grow as much as 4 percent each year.

In Kansas, drivers using a learner’s permit or intermediate license cannot use cell phones while driving. In 2011, Kansas banned all texting while driving for all drivers. In Lawrence, texting while driving carries a fine of $80 (with court costs a ticket will cost $133).

How can you talk to your teen about distracted driving?

Talk to your teens NOW: Tell them the facts. Tell them that distracted driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Set a good example: Throw your cell phone into the back seat when you’re driving. Don’t check your e-mail at stoplights. If you must talk on the phone, use a hands-free headset. And, never text while driving.

Establish harsh consequences: If your teens practice distracted driving, take away the car keys. Immediately.

Ride the T to Your Summer Fun Destinations in Lawrence


Looking for a way to get to fun summer activities? The T can take you there! Lawrence Transit System routes cover many destinations around the city.

A few hot spots located on bus routes include the Indoor Aquatic Center, Outdoor Aquatic Center, Centennial Disc Golf Course and Skate Park, Natural History Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, East Lawrence Recreation Center, Holcom Recreation Center, Community Building and the Lawrence Public Library.

Fares are just $1 each way, or $.50 for reduced fares, which includes K-12 students. Buses run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

First-time riders may want to visit to try the Google trip planner, or call (785) 864-4644 for more information.