Public Safety Information

TELL ME ABOUT WORTHLESS CHECKS …..

    There are several types of worthless checks; stop payment, closed account, forgery, and insufficient funds. Checks that are returned by the bank because of a stop payment, written on a closed account, or forged are all considered criminal in nature and should be brought to the Valparaiso Police Department, along with any additional information pertaining to the transaction. Insufficient funds checks are handled directly by the State Attorney’s Office; 1-B 9th Avenue in Shalimar, FL; across from the Shalimar Courthouse Annex. For more information about reporting an insufficient funds check, contact the State Attorney’s Office at 850-651-7260.

TELL ABOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS …..

    Criminal history background checks are available in person at the police department, 8am to 4pm – Monday thru Thursday. This background check will give only information pertaining to arrest made by the Valparaiso Police Department. For a statewide criminal history, we suggest you go to http://www.fdle.state.fl.us and follow their links. Be aware there is a charge for their service; however information will be provided to all arrests made in the State of Florida, not just the City of Valparaiso.
    For criminal history information in another state, we suggest you use an internet search engine of you choice and enter ‘(state) criminal history records’.

Reporting Suspicious Activities or Crime

If you witness a crime or suspicious activities call police immediately

  • When reporting a crime or suspicious activities get directly to what you observed.
  • Do not confront the subject or subjects; be a good witness.
  • Provide police with a physical description of the subject; scars, facial hair and tattoos help identify subjects.
  • Provide police with a detailed clothing description of what the subject was wearing, such as, red shirt, blue baseball cap, white tennis shoes.
  • Provide police with how many subjects were involved and gender or race.
  • Inform police of any vehicles that were involved and their description.
  • Vehicle descriptions are very important; license plate numbers, make of vehicle, color, condition of vehicle and any bumper stickers or distinguishing items on the vehicle.
  • If vehicles or subjects leave the area, provide police with the last known direction of travel.
  • Stay on the telephone as long as possible with police.
  • Providing name and call back number would help police.

Home Security Information

  • Always lock your doors and windows. Many thefts occur when doors and windows are left unlocked.
  • Install and use deadbolt locks.
  • Outside doors to residences, including the one between your house and garage, need to be solid and fit tightly in their frame. Hinges should be inside the door.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with locks and place a dowel in the track of the door to prevent it from sliding open when you’re not home.
  • Rotate leaving different lights on when you’re away. Use light timers if away for any extended amount of time.
  • Close blinds and shades at night.
  • Alarms are good, but dogs are better for preventing burglaries.
  • Keep outside areas well lit.
  • Trim back shrubbery that hide doors or windows, cut back tree limbs that could help a thief climb into a second story window.
  • Install a peephole in the door and use it.
  • Verify the identity and legitimacy of any sales or service person before letting them into your house.
  • Never let a stranger into you’re house when your home alone- and no matter the reason-never give the appearance to a stranger that you are home alone.
  • If you live alone, use only initials or last name on your mail box.
  • Never provide personal information to subjects calling that you do not know.
  • If you come home and find a door or window opened or signs of forced entry, do not go inside- Call police immediately.

Personal Safety Tips

  • Stay alert, keep your mind on your surroundings, who’s in front of you and who’s behind you.
  • Trust your instincts, if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave immediately.
  • While walking, plan the safest route and well lit streets.
  • Carry purse close to your body while walking.
  • Don’t flaunt expensive jewelry or flash cash.
  • When exiting store or home have vehicle keys in your hand and ready to use.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, cross the street, and go to the nearest well lighted populated area.
  • If you have a cellular telephone carry it with you at all times
  • While walking stay clear of alleyways, doorways and bushes.
  • Don’t walk alone at night.
  • Be careful when people stop and ask for directions. Reply from a distance and stay away from the vehicle.
  • Park you’re vehicle in a well lighted area and always lock your doors.
  • Check front and rear seats before entering your vehicle.
  • Drive with doors locked at all times.
  • If your car breaks down, put the hood up, turn your flashers on and stay inside your locked car. If someone stops to help, ask them to call police or tow service and stay inside vehicle.
  • If you are involved in a road rage incident, do not stop your vehicle. Call police, drive to the police station or to a well lighted populated area and call police. Never confront the other subject.
  • If you are being followed while in your vehicle, do not go home. Drive to the nearest police station or open business and call police. Only exit your vehicle if you can do so safely.
  • If ever attacked yell and scream the words “HELP ME- call POLICE” and continue to scream and do everything possible to get away.
  • Money and property can be replaced, do not put your safety in jeopardy.

Beware of Scams

  • If something sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
  • Never provide bank account or credit card numbers over the telephone.
  • Beware of contractors that randomly contact you for repairs they believe you may or may not need.
  • Never pay for a job in full until the work has been completed.
  • Check references and past work done by the contractor before agreeing to work being done.
  • Always verify the organization before donating money and identify the caller.
  • Never provide keys to contractors with free access to you’re property when your not home. While work is being done avoid leaving checks, credit cards or cash laying around the house.
  • Never invite door to door solicitors into your house.
  • All residential solicitors must carry a license issued by city hall, (unless the organization is not for profit organization), when soliciting in the City of Valparaiso.