Crime Prevention

House Checks

House Checks are available to citizens who notify the police department that they are going out of town for a specific period of time. Patrol officers are then notified of specific homes that are on the house check list so they can check on them. This is a free service and can be set up in advance by contacting the Police Department at 757-259-5140, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. You may also submit your request by email by completing and following the instructions on the below form.

The police department cannot guarantee that your home will not be the target of a crime while under our house check program. Other safeguards should also be put into place to help ensure that you home is more secure while you are away. Some examples are listed below:
  • Make sure that all of your doors and windows are locked. Use deadbolts if available and don’t forget to lock your garage door.
  • Place lights on a timer during the evening hours. Vary the times if possible.
  • Have mail and newspaper delivery stopped while you are gone
  • Don’t advertise on social media that you are going away or are away from home
  • Don’t leave any spare keys outside of your home while you are gone
  • Have a neighbor check on your home at least once a day and ask that they collect any unexpected packages, fliers, phone books, etc.
  • Consider having a trusted friend or family member be a house sitter or pet sitter in your home while you are away
  • Consider installing and utilizing a quality home security system. If you already have a system installed, let the alarm company know that you will be away.

Related Documents

McGruff the Crime Dog

McGruff the Crime Dog is a symbol for crime prevention and he helps build relationships between the police and children while encouraging everyone to “take a bite out of crime!”
If you would like to have McGruff make an appearance at an event, please contact us.

Other Resources for Kids

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is a "team" approach to fighting crime in which the James City County Police Department works hand in hand with you and your neighbors to reduce crime in your community.

Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.

In order to reach this goal, we want you to become better acquainted with your neighbors while our Community Services Officers show you how to protect yourself, your neighbors and your property from crime. Statistics and criminals alike verify that when neighbors organize, the opportunity for crime is drastically reduced.

Business Watch

The Business Watch program provides a method by which the business community and the James City County Police Department can work more closely together to prevent or solve problems in business parks, malls, shopping centers, individual businesses, etc.

The program is predicated on the same concept as the very successful Neighborhood Watch Program where neighbors watch out for neighbors. Business Watch participation enhances involvement with neighboring businesses and offers many benefits to businesses, residents, and the police department.

We also provide instruction on numerous topics to business, homeowner groups, civic groups, etc. in the prevention of robbery, shoplifting, bad checks, burglary, fraud, credit card fraud and employee theft. We also provide instruction or presentations on home safety/security, business security and personal safety.

Security Surveys

We aim at creating an awareness of the roles individuals and businesses play in the reduction and prevention of crime in James City County. Crime prevention encourages individuals, groups, schools, neighborhoods and communities to participate in programs and activities to reduce and prevent crime.

Crime Prevention seminars and information are available through the Police Department. These seminars can be tailored to fit the educational needs of your neighborhood or business. A wide variety of topics are available including workplace safety, drug identification, personal safety, identifying and reporting suspicious incidents and senior safety. Home and business security surveys are also available.

Home & Business Security Surveys

The James City County Police Department will conduct a free on scene security survey of your home or business. We will also provide suggestions and information on how to keep your home or business safe.

Rental Managers Network

Area apartment/mobile home park managers meet with the Community Service Officer on a monthly basis to discuss current topics or areas of concern. Guest speakers are also often used to provide instruction or expertise on a specific topic.

Lighting Surveys

Lighting Surveys can be performed upon request for local businesses or residents. The proper use of lighting is one of the most important aspects in dealing with public safety and crime prevention.

Technical Site Reviews

Blueprints and site plans for subdivisions, buildings, businesses, etc., are reviewed for safety considerations such as lighting, proposed landscaping, traffic, and overall design factors to try to reduce the risks of safety hazards and crime opportunity.