911 Calls and Calls to Virginia-Highland Security Patrol - In an emergency always call 911 first.

If possible, have a second person call the patrol cell phone while you are on the phone with 911, or place the patrol call after the 911 call. This is important for our officers' safety to ensure they have necessary backup. Members receive an email every month with the cellphone number and schedule.

For non-emergency calls or to report non-part one crimes (such as parking problems, noise complaints, etc.) you can call the patrol when they are on duty. If not on duty, then these calls should also be made to 911 so that there is a record of the complaint.

See Something Say Something Campaign

If you see suspicious activity, say something. Suspicious activity can be difficult to define, but if you see something that doesn't feel right and makes you question the activity, call 911. Keep in mind that suspicion should be based on a person's actions, and not on their appearance, race, nationality, or sex.

Recognizing and Reporting Suspicious Activity

Suspicious activity is observed behavior that could indicate a crime. These include, but are not limited to, unusual items or situations, eliciting information, and observation/surveillance. Some of these activities could be innocent—it's up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation.

We always want to respect citizens' privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity.

Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. The public should only report suspicious behavior and situations. Only reports that document behavior that is reasonably indicative of criminal activity should be reported.

Some examples include someone using a flashlight to peer inside parked vehicles or looking into mailboxes, a stranger taking a package off a neighbor's porch, driving up and down a street or circling the block repeatedly, or multiple people crossing the street to get in front of or behind a pedestrian.

Broken Window Theory

"Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.
Or consider a pavement. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of refuse from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars."

James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in a 1982 article in The Atlantic Monthly

While Broken Window Theory seems to make a lot of sense on the surface, current thinking is that overall, this theory has been misapplied and done more harm than good. The strategy has been perverted by some to stigmatize certain individuals, groups and communities. While taking pride in your surroundings - doing such things as keeping litter picked up and requesting code enforcement to enforce regulations for absentee landlords for instance. - we must not make assumptions about the people who live in a particular place based on such observations. It is not a crime to be poor, and some communities have seen government neglect and disinvestment for decades through no fault of local residents.

Clean Car Campaign

In order to lessen the chance of being a victim of an auto break-in, the patrol advises you to remove all personal items (whether valuable or not) from you vehicle when parked. If you must leave a weapon in the vehicle, it should be secured in a lockbox. Far too many handguns are stolen from under the driver's seat or the unlocked glovebox or center console every year. If you have guests visiting, make sure they know to empty their car as well.