When Kitty Genovese was murdered in Queens, New York, in 1964, and nobody allegedly came to her aid, the story caused shockwaves throughout the country. Had we as a citizenry become too self centered? Had we as a society become too selfish? Did we only care about our loved ones and the rest of us can just fend for ourselves?

Leaders Jump In

In the aftermath of Kitty Genovese’s murder, the actual facts about the case became blurred as the nation did some soul searching about our personal reactions to violent crime. But leaders in criminal justice saw opportunities and created three important strategies to engage citizens in support of community-wide, crime-prevention.

1960s Crime Prevention Strategies

The best known of these technological and societal strategies is 9-1-1 Emergency. We all take it for granted. In an emergency, dial 911. The next strategy that most everyone has heard of, but might not be exactly sure what’s involved with it, is Neighborhood Watch. The last and least known, even among law enforcement professionals, is Operation Identification which MyPropertyID has modernized

What Do These Strategies Do?

In each case, 911, Neighborhood Watch and Operation ID are designed to connect law enforcement professionals with actionable information to arrest and convict criminals. 911 is for emergencies only. Neighborhood Watch encourages street-level leaders to connect with law enforcement professionals through non emergency channels. And Operation ID is a simple security system for marking property, keeping a record of serial numbers and warning criminals with signage.

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