Auto Theft Awareness

Auto Theft Awareness

Automobile theft is a problem all around the country. Unfortunately, many people don’t give it a second thought. In many cases, stolen vehicles are left with the keys in the ignition and the car left unlocked. It should also be noted that most auto thefts happen at night. Good anti-theft devices slow down car thieves and increase their risk of discovery.

To help lessen your chances of becoming a victim of motor vehicle theft, the Brockton Police Department would like to offer the following advice from

  • Always remove the keys from your car, lock all doors and shut windows tightly every time you leave your car. Do not leave valuables in plain view.

  • Park in well-lighted and high visibility areas.

  • Never hide a spare key to your vehicle on or inside the vehicle.

  • Do not leave titles or bills of sale in your vehicle; the title can be altered easily and/or your signature can be forged.

  • Have the vehicle identification number etched on window glass trim as well as other parts of the car; T-tops, radios, etc.

  • When parking in attended lots or parking garages, leave only the ignition key (or valet key) with the attendant.

  • Always lock your garage door.

  • When purchasing a vehicle, check the manufacturer’s list on anti-theft options, such as interior hood and trunk releases, locking steering columns, locking gas caps, and alarm systems. You may want to consider installing a disabler switch or “kill switch” which will prevent a thief from starting the car or a fuel switch that stops the fuel supply.

  • Anti-Theft Bars or Steering Wheel Locking Devices prevent the steering wheel from being turned. They are highly visible and may act as a deterrent from theft.

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself when buying and selling a car:

  • Beware of fast pressure sells.

  • Be cautious of the low priced bargain car.

  • Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if it has been altered.

  • Be suspicious of fresh paint on the car.

  • Verify that the inspection sticker and the license tag are current and from the same state.

  • Do not accept duplicate car keys.

  • Complete all paper work at the time of sale.

  • If you are selling a car, never allow a person to test drive the vehicle alone.

  • Ask to see an interested buyer’s driver’s license, and write down the name, address, driver’s license number, etc.

  • Make certain the driver’s door contains a federal motor vehicle safety standard label. This label is often called a Mylar sticker and it contains the vehicle identification number. Presence of the label is required by law.

If your car is stolen, call the police. Vehicle theft should be reported as soon as possible. It is important to note that before the vehicle can be listed as stolen, you must have your vehicle’s license number and/or the vehicle identification number (VIN). The officer will take the information over the telephone. By making a report over the phone, the needed information about your vehicle can be entered directly into the department’s computer system and broadcast to surrounding communities. This enables officers to immediately identify your vehicle as being stolen. Stolen vehicles are sometimes used in the commission of other crimes. Quick action often results in the recovery of your vehicle as well as the prevention of another crime.

Remember, simple daily precautions are an important first step in reducing your chances of becoming the victim of auto theft.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St Brockton ,Ma 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

House Parties

House Parties

Now that graduation season is here, many families will be hosting parties to celebrate the success of their graduates. I thought I would run this article once again to help potential hosts plan a party that will be incident free and enjoyed by all.


My neighbors like to throw parties during the warmer months. Usually they are fairly quiet but sometimes they can get out of hand. With summer fast approaching and party season here, is there any advice you can offer to help keep these parties under control?


The Brockton Police Department has become accustomed to the presence of noise and party related problems. When parties compromise the personal safety of citizens and negatively impact the quality of life within neighborhoods, the Brockton Police Department must take action to improve conditions.
If a neighbor or any person calls to complain about a party or noise problem, the Brockton Police Department will respond to assist that complainant.  Party hosts may also call to request assistance with shutting down an out-of-control party.
Please remember, noise ordinance should be the end time for loud parties, hosts should be reasonable about how late a party should continue, especially when the party lasts into the late evening.
Here are some suggestions to help make a party safe and successful:

Best Advice for a Safe and Successful Party

1. Make your neighbors’ aware before throwing a party.
2. Agree to clean up after the party, especially if trash or other debris has been deposited on the street or in a neighbor’s yard.
3. Leave a telephone number where your neighbors can call you to complain (and answer the phone if they call).
4. Keep party attendance to a reasonable number.
5. If unruly, uninvited guests show up, call the police to have them removed.
6. Do not disturb your neighbors.  Not only is disturbing the peace is illegal, you may do irreparable harm to the relationship built between you and your neighbors. You live in a community where late night noise and parties are not tolerated.
7. DO NOT ALLOW UNDERAGE DRINKING.  Just one underage drinker can result in the party’s host being arrested. Underage drinking is illegal and those who do so may be arrested.
8. Do not let drunken partygoers drive home. Make sure to take the car keys of those who drink prior to the party getting into full swing.
9. Illegal parking, late night visitors, outdoor loitering (smoking cigarettes or playing games), underage drinking, trash, unkept yards, and loud noise are actions that demand police attention.
10. There are ramifications for party hosts or partygoers who do not follow the rules such as arrests, parental notifications, fines and other sanctions including potential civil consequences.

Everyone enjoys a good party. Good party hosts and good neighbors must remember to respect the rights of nearby residents and ensure that their party is kept under control at all times. Following these simple tips will allow everyone to have a good time and help maintain the quality of life residents have come to enjoy.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police



I recently received the following email advising me of this attempted “IRS” scam. Does this sound familiar?

“Hi Chief – When I arrived home after work yesterday, I had a message on my answering machine from someone claiming to be with the IRS. I returned the call for the number given (509-587-3082) and was told by Stu Bob (badge # 205011) that a Federal arrest warrant had been issued for me because of a tax return discrepancy in the amount of $4,856.00 from the 2005 – 2009 tax period. I could avoid being arrested and going to court by paying the amount due.”

“I told him I wanted to avoid the courts and he connected me with Sean Miller to arrange payment. Both men reminded me repeatedly that agents were on the way to arrest me and seize my passport and driver’s license if payment wasn’t made. I told Sean that I wanted some documentation before I agreed to pay. He wanted half of the payment within 45 minutes or I would be arrested. I told him I would be waiting for the agents to arrive with passport in hand. With that, he hung up on me. I don’t imagine there is anything you can do, but I thought I’d pass it along.”

Fortunately, the writer did not panic and called the scammer’s bluff. Unfortunately, even with all the warnings we’ve issued, many individuals are fearful of arrest or other “IRS” action and follow the scammer’s instructions.

As a reminder, here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

• If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at
• You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.


Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez
Chief of Police

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle season is once again upon us. As in previous years, the Brockton Police Department would like to offer the following information on motorcycle awareness and safety provided by the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles. This and more important information may be found at

Automobile drivers, not motorcyclists, are responsible for more than two-thirds of car-motorcycle crashes. Many times, drivers don’t see the motorcyclist until it’s too late to avoid a crash. It is important for motorists to know that their actions affect the safety of motorcyclists. A motorist and a motorcyclist may take different actions for the same driving or highway situation. For example, a motorist may ignore a piece of road debris however, that same piece of road debris may be deadly for someone operating a motorcycle. Keeping these ideas in mind can help prevent accidents:

Advice to Drivers…Remember that motorcycles can be easy to miss.

Motorcycles are already more difficult to spot than cars because of their smaller profiles, and drivers are conditioned to look for other cars, not motorcyclists. Traffic, weather, and road conditions require motorcyclists to react differently than drivers, so it is often difficult to judge and predict when riders may take evasive action. This means drivers must always be aware of their surroundings.

Know when crashes are likely to occur. You are more likely to be involved in an accident with a motorcycle when:

  • You are making a left turn in front of a rider.

  • A motorcyclist is riding in your blind spot.

  • There are hazardous road conditions. Potholes, wet leaves, railroad tracks, and other obstructions may force a motorcyclist to take an action you don’t expect.

  • You have an obstructed line of sight. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans, and large trucks may block motorcyclists from your view.

Be more aware of motorcyclists. Remember that motorcyclists have the same privileges of other drivers. Be sure to give riders a full lane of travel, and always keep a close watch for motorcyclists, especially at intersections and on highways.

Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers. As stated above, a piece of road debris that poses no threat to a car may be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive moves a motorcyclist might take by always being aware of your surroundings. Also, don’t follow motorcycles too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.

Advice to Motorcyclists…Help drivers know you’re there.

Don’t assume you are visible to a driver. As a motorcyclist, it is your responsibility to make your presence known to drivers. Select and wear an appropriate helmet with reflective materials. A DOT-approved motorcycle helmet is your most valuable piece of protective gear and should be visible to drivers. Wear bright, contrasting protective clothing. If you wear dark clothing, wear a fluorescent vest. Use headlights while riding on the highway, and use high beams rather than low beams. Also consider a modulating headlight.

Proper lane position is important. It helps drivers see you and protects your riding space. Remember, if you can see a driver in the side-view mirror, the driver can see you. Don’t “hide” in a driver’s blind spot and always signal before making a move. Never weave between lanes.

Remember, there is no one safe place to ride. Use lane positioning to be seen and to provide extra space for emergency braking situations or avoidance maneuvers. Never share a lane with a car. Drivers may not expect you alongside their cars and may not be aware of your presence.

Remember: Share the Road with Motorcycles.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Online Gaming and Internet Safety

Online Gaming and Internet Safety


My son has been playing lots of games on his computer. I just found out that he has been playing many of these games online with complete strangers who he met in “gaming rooms.” I was wondering if you have any safety advice for people gaming online.



When children and teens play online with friends or family, there is usually no problem however, when complete strangers work their way into these games, serious issues can arise. To help avoid these issues, the Brockton Police Department would like to provide the following online gaming safety tips offered by NetSmartz, a program of the National center for Missing and Exploited Children. More information may be found at

Some parents and guardians think that online games are simply a form of entertainment. However, children also have the chance to exercise important life skills while gaming. They may use their imaginations and employ problem-solving strategies to overcome obstacles. They may also practice their social skills through online interactions with other gamers.

Using instant chat features, forums and voice-enabled interactions, children can communicate and collaborate with gamers all over the world. Unfortunately, these features can also expose children to people who may not have their best interests in mind.

Risks of Gaming

Many online games have communication features which allow their users to interact anonymously. Some people may take advantage of this anonymity to target children. For example, predators may send inappropriate content or use a game’s communication functions to arrange in-person meetings. Cyberbullies may harass fellow gamers and online scam artists may promise virtual goods in an effort to get credit card information.

Some game consoles allow Internet access as well so it is important to be aware of their communication features. Predators have sent children inappropriate content through game consoles in attempts to coax them into reciprocating or meeting offline.

Help children game safely

  • Parental involvement is critical when it comes to helping children game more safely. Take an active interest in the games that your child plays and wants to buy. You can research games’ ratings and content on This website is maintained by the Entertainment Software Rating Board which rates thousands of games each year.

  • Know which safety features are available on the gaming equipment that your child uses -a headset may have voice-masking features, for example.

  • Keep gaming consoles in an easy-to-supervise location and be aware of other places where your child may be accessing games.

  • Tell your child never to give out personal information while gaming or agree to meet anyone outside of the game.

  • Teach your child not to respond to anyone who is being rude or bullying while playing the game.

  • Set rules about how long your child may play, what types of games are appropriate, and who else may participate.

  • Have your child check with you before using a credit or debit card online.

  • Check to see if the games your child plays have reporting features or moderators.

Start a discussion with your child

Use these discussion starters to get an Internet safety conversation going with your children. The more often you talk to them about online safety, the easier it will get, so don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond immediately!

  • Can we play some of your favorite games together?

  • How do you respond if someone bothers you while you are gaming?

  • How much do you let people know about you while gaming?

  • What kinds of people do you game with?

  • Do you feel safe while you are gaming online? Why or why not?

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Pool Safety

Pool Safety

Since pool season is in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to run this column again.



My children and their friends have been using the pool on a regular basis now that the warmer weather is here. I hear about so many pool related accidents and I was wondering if you could offer any suggestions on pool safety.



According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death to children under five. Many of these accidents occur in residential pools. The key to preventing these tragedies is to have layers of protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent access, using pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency. To help ensure a safe and enjoyable summer, the Brockton Police Department offers some pool safety tips from the CPSC at

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water. Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted. Adults can take turns being a Water Watcher.

  • Teach children basic water safety tips.

  • Fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and installed completely around the pool. Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be out of a small child’s reach.

  • If your house forms one side of the barrier to the pool, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce a sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.

  • A power safety cover, a motor-powered barrier that can be placed over the water area, can be used when the pool is not in use.

  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a portable phone is poolside with emergency numbers posted. Knowing first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver.

  • For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured and locked or removed when the pool is not in use.

  • If a child is missing, ALWAYS look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

  • Pool alarms can be used as an added precaution. Underwater pool alarms generally perform better and can be used in conjunction with pool covers. CPSC advises that consumers use remote alarm receivers so the alarm can be heard inside the house or in other places away from the pool area.

  • PARENTS AND GUARDIANS…ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT A DROWNING. Watch your child closely at all times. Make sure that doors leading to the pool area are closed and locked. Young children can quickly slip away and get into the pool if left unattended.

Diving injuries can result in quadriplegia, paralysis below the neck, to divers who hit the bottom or side of a swimming pool, according to CPSC. Divers should observe the following precautions:

  • Never dive into above-ground pools. They are too shallow.

  • Don’t dive from the side of an in-ground pool. Enter the water feet first.

  • Dive only from the end of the diving board and not from the sides.

  • Dive with your hands in front of you and always steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool.

  • Don’t dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs because your reaction time may be too slow.

  • Improper use of pool slides presents the same danger as improper diving techniques. Never slide down head first – slide down feet first only.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Social Media Safety

Social Media Safety


My children spend a lot of time on Facebook and it seems like they give out a lot of personal information. I know it continues to be quite the rage and they tell me that only friends can see their home page information but I’m still a little wary. Can you provide me with any safety advice for using Facebook?


It is no secret that Facebook is one of the top social networking sites in the world. According to information found on their site, Facebook has over 890 million active daily users worldwide and I think it would be safe to assume that some of these subscribers are not going online just to catch up with friends. Although Facebook does issue warnings to members to guard their privacy, many users post their personal information for everyone to see…everyone including individuals who commit identity fraud or use the site with less than honorable intentions.

To avoid being a victim, the Brockton Police Department would once again like to provide the following information posted by Facebook at

What’s My Teen Doing on Facebook?

Just like adults, teens use Facebook to connect with friends through chat, personal messages and sharing photos, videos, links and other kinds of information. They use Facebook to announce achievements, wish each other a happy birthday and plan social events – like going to a movie or a friend’s house.

Who Can See My Teen’s Profile?

The only people who can see what teens post are their Facebook friends, friends of friends, and networks (like the school they attend). We maintain added protections and security settings for teens (age 13-17) that ensure their profiles and posts don’t show up in public search results. Similarly, if teens share their location through Places, only their Facebook friends can see it.

Start a Conversation

Parents don’t need to be social media experts in order to ask questions and begin an ongoing dialog with teens. Have conversations about safety and technology early and often, in the same way that you talk to your kids about being safe at school, in the car, riding public transportation or playing sports.

One of the best ways to begin a conversation is to ask your teens why services like Facebook are important to them. You might also ask them to show you how to set up your own Facebook profile so you can see what it’s all about. Discuss what’s appropriate information to share online and what isn’t. Ask them about privacy settings, and suggest that you go over them together, regularly. Set ground rules, and enforce them.

Learn from Your Teen

Today’s teens have grown up with the internet, cell phones and text messaging. Most don’t distinguish between being online or off. New technology has always been a part of their lives, so when we write it off as trivial or a waste of time, we criticize a big part of their social interaction. You probably know this already, but unless you’re really on top of social media, your teenager most likely knows more about it than you do. That’s OK. Don’t be afraid to ask your child to show you the ropes!

It’s About Respect

It’s also important to talk about the Golden Rule: treating others the way you want to be treated. This also applies to using new technologies. Make sure your teens know where to go for support if someone ever harasses them. Help them understand how to make responsible and safe choices about what they post because anything they put online can be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

Once You’re on Facebook…

If you have a Facebook profile, and have friended your child, try to respect the same boundaries you use offline. Let your relationship dictate how you interact. For example, whether you join a conversation among your child’s friends or if you post on their wall. Think of social media as a get-together at one of your child’s friends’ houses. You can give permission for your teen to attend, and even though you won’t be there to monitor their behavior, you trust your teen to have good judgment around peers and other parents. It’s all about balancing your teen’s growing independence and need for privacy with your safety concerns.

Learn the Lingo

Friends? Friends of Friends? Like? Poke? Wall? Learn what all these terms mean in the Facebook Help Center.

Tips for Parents

  • It can be tough to keep up with technology. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids to explain it to you.
  • Teach your teens the online safety basics so they can keep their Facebook profile (and other online accounts) private and safe.
  • Talk about technology safety just like you talk about safety while driving and playing sports.


Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Vacation Safety While You Are Away

Vacation Safety While You Are Away


The kids are out of school and my family and I will be going away on vacation for a few weeks. Do you have any tips that will help keep potential burglars away while we’re gone?


Light, time and noise are a homeowner’s greatest weapons in the fight to prevent a home burglary according to the Insurance Information Institute. To keep potential burglars away from your home, the Brockton Police Department would like to once again offer these simple tips to follow before you go on vacation:

  • Examine your house from the street and make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics or artwork, are visible from the street. If a passerby can see your belongings, so can criminals.

  • Make sure to lock and fasten all doors and windows.

  • Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track to prevent an intruder from forcing the door open.

  • Always lock the door to your attached garage.

  • Make it appear that you’re home. Use timers on lights, radios, and televisions. Turn lights on and off at certain times, altering lighting patterns, to create an occupied look.

  • Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. You can do this by installing low-voltage outdoor lighting.

  • Never leave clues that you are away. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers or ask for them to be held.

  • Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you are on vacation.

  • Trim the shrubbery near your home’s entrance and walkway. This prevents a would-be burglar from hiding in tall, bushy foliage.

  • If you have a home security system, make sure it is activated when you leave. The more difficult you make it for the intruder; the less likely he or she will be to pursue forcing their way into your home.

  • Get a trusted friend or relative to “house sit” or make sure your neighbors know your plans.

  • Leave a car parked in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.

  • Leave a house key and a number where you can be reached with a trusted friend or neighbor.

  • Leave drapes and shades open as normal. (Closed blinds during the day are a sure sign of an empty house, and they allow a burglar to attend to his business unseen by neighbors.)

  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed if you’re going to be away for more than a week.

  • Replace any burned-out lights in your yard. Consider upgrading outdoor light fixtures with devices that have built-in motion detectors which turn on the lights whenever anyone walks past.

  • Know your valuables. It’s always a good idea to know what items of value you have in the house. Take detailed photographs of your valuables or better yet, take a video of your possessions to include jewelry, electronics, rare coins, antiques, etc. Be sure to capture distinguishing features on these items including serial and model numbers if applicable. With today’s cell phone photo and video capabilities, it’s easier than ever to inventory your possessions. Just be sure to keep the video in a safe place and not on the phone.

  • DON’T ADVERTISE that you are going to be away from home on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. Wait until you return home from vacation to post your photos on these sites.

If you plan on being away for more than a few days, please stop by the Brockton Police Department to request checks of your house while you are on vacation. We will need your name, address, date of departure and return, emergency contact numbers and any special conditions or circumstances we should be aware of while you are away.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police