‘CPTED’ program helps residents prevent crime before it happens

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- There’s a new way you can stop crime in its tracks, starting at your home and it’s free.

“It doesn’t have to be a fencing with barbed wire, that makes you feel secure,” said Gretchen Eberhardt.

Eberhardt is a crime prevention practitioner with the Fort Myers Police Department. She tells WINK News there’s a crime fighting technique that’s only one phone call away.

“Crime always happens where there is opportunity and time. If you eliminate the opportunity, and are more proactive with your security, they aren’t going to waste their time.”

It’s called CPTED– Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.

“Basically it uses environmental cues to deal with whatever issues you may be having on your property.”

Eberhardt or another police officer can come to your home, apartment building, or complex for free. There they’ll do a survey on the property, and look at areas that can improve your safety.

She explains some of the changes made to Roberto Clemente Park, a past CPTED project.

“Around the benches, you notice there are very little hedges because you want to be able to see what going on behind you and around you,” said Eberhardt. “There’s lighting around the buildings, motion sensor lighting which is great.”

The surveys are free and can be done on any home, apartment, or business. Just call the main police department number, and ask for Gretchen.

She says LCSO and Cape Coral also do surveys, for those who don’t live in Fort Myers.

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