Town Supervisor Paul Sausville is putting out the word this season that Malta is a safe place for families, and they can also play a role in assuring their sense of security continues into the New Year.
We look out for our neighbors and our children, said Sausville in a letter to residents and on the town Web site. "But the National Crime Prevention Council says there is more that can be done to make our neighborhoods even safer."
Town officials made suggestions to residents wanting to get involved, including:
Organize a neighborhood watch program. Together with your neighbors, watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Look out for one another.
Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a time to check in or be home.
Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address, and your work and cell phone numbers.
Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don't want your children to go to?
Get to know your children's friends. Meet their parents before letting your children go to their home. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they will be supervised.
Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor's house where your children can go if they need help.
Malta has been working with local businesses to establish a community "Safe Place" Program. Participating businesses display a 6-inch "Safe Place" green triangle decal on their front door and provide a safe place for children or adults who feel that they are being followed, threatened or harassed.
Sausville said the letter is being sent out as a reminder, not in response to any particular safety threat.
"We do get calls from time to time from residents or newcomers to the area who ask about security in the area," said Sausville. "It's a good public service to get word out, at any time of year."
Andrea and Fred Vicari have lived in Malta for more than 10 years, raising their son Kevin, who graduated from the Ballston Spa Central School District.
"We've had no problems or concerns with safety," said Andrea Vicari. "I think people know Malta is one of the most family-friendly places to live in the area.""