Public Safety Tips

There are several resources that Piedmont Police Department provides to promote public safety. These include:

Safety Precautions for Piedmont Residents

At Home 
  • Make sure your house number is visible from the street. Police and fire personnel need to be able to identify your home easily, especially in emergency situations. 
  • NEVER allow strangers to enter your residence. Before opening your door to strangers, such as salesman or service persons, ask to be shown an identification card. If your door is equipped with a peephole USE IT. If you are still unsure, call the company that the person claims to work for to confirm that work is being done in your area or call the Piedmont Police Department.
  • Consider prohibiting peddlers and solicitors at your home. The law does not allow a city to ban solicitors or peddlers. The city cannot investigate a person's background simply because they are selling products or services door to door. To avoid dealing with unknown callers, you have the right to post a "No Solicitors" sign. If a solicitor or peddler violates this sign, you may request that a police officer respond and cite the person.
  • Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood to the police. If you see a stranger looking in windows, checking locks on doors or gates, or behaving in an unusual way, immediately report it to the police. You will be asked by the dispatcher to be very specific about what you saw. Don't be offended. The dispatcher is trained to recognize behavior, which should be checked by an officer, and our officers can be most efficient if they know who they are looking for and why.
  • Keep doors and windows locked as much as possible for your family situation.
  • Fix broken locks, windows, and replace burnt out light bulbs. Exterior lights are recommended; motion lights are a viable deterrent.
  • Store valuable items in secure places, preferably in locations that are not seen from the outside.
  • Keep your landscape trimmed, specifically bushes and trees around doors and windows.
  • Keep emergency numbers handy for easy reference during an emergency. Call 911 in emergency situations and (510) 420-3000 for non-emergencies. Please Note: Piedmont residents dialing 911 on a wireless telephone on the perimeter of the city may be connected to an outside police agency. Ensure direct contact to Piedmont police dispatch center by pre-programming Piedmont Police telephone number, (510) 420-3000, into your cellular telephone.
  • Alarm systems are ALWAYS recommended, as is a dog of any size that makes you aware of strangers approaching your home.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Remember their names, the vehicles they drive, and their daily schedules whenever possible. Call them if you notice something out of the ordinary at their home. If you don't receive an answer, call the police department so that officers can check the residence. If you don't know your neighbors well, consider starting a Neighborhood Watch group, a program sponsored through the police department. Please contact Captain Chris Monahan at cmonahan@piedmont.ca.gov for information and assistance in starting a Neighborhood Watch group.
With Your Vehicle
  • Use your secured garage to park your vehicle if this is an option. If there is no garage available, then attempt to park nearest the best lighting possible, i.e. driveway or under a street light. 
  • Do NOT leave items of value visible to a person outside of your vehicle.
  • Always keep your vehicle locked, whether you're inside or outside of it.
  • If you must make a call when driving, pull over and keep an eye on who is near your vehicle.
When in Public
  • Be aware of your surroundingsIf someone looks suspicious or makes you feel uneasy, avoid that person. Go inside a business or store if necessary.
  • When driving, be aware of vehicles that appear to be following you. If you do believe that this is a possibility, drive to a populated location or the Piedmont Police Department.
  • When using an ATM, choose one that is well lit. If you see someone loitering about an ATM location, drive to another one. After an ATM transaction, BE ALERT. You will have cash in hand making you an easy target.
  • If you suspect danger, promptly enter the nearest store or building.
  • If you witness a crime, be a good witness. If a vehicle is involved attempt to get the license plate number. Do your best to remember any distinguishing features of the suspect(s). Do NOT put yourself in harms way and notify the police IMMEDIATELY.

If you have any questions about these tips or need additional information, please contact: Detective Jeff Spranza
jspranza@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3013

Detective John Lagios
jlagios@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3015

Avoiding Identity Theft

More than ever the information explosion, aided by an era of easy credit, has led to the expansion of a crime that feeds on the inability of consumers to control who has access to sensitive information and how it is safeguarded. With the increasing popularity of the Internet, identity theft crime escalates everyday.

Most studies show that the victim population is about 10 million per year. That means every minute about 19 people become a new victim of this crime. 
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, identity theft is now surpassing drug trafficking as the number one crime in the nation.

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
  • Don't carry your social security number with you. 

  • Be careful with receipts containing important numbers and destroy them, preferably by shredding.

  • Use the Post Office or postal mailboxes instead of letting mail sit in your box.

  • Shred anything with names, addresses, birth dates, or any other important data.

  • Destroy all credit card offers you don’t want---if these offers get into the wrong hands, someone can change the mailing address and receive a credit card in your name. Note: Call 888 5OPTOUT (567-8688) to opt out of receiving these offers.

  • Carefully review bills.

  • Request a credit report quarterly.

  • If you’re having problems with your mail, check with the Post Office. Someone may have routed your mail to themselves.

  • Do not have checks pre-printed with your driver’s license or social security number.

  • Don’t release personal information on the Internet or telephone unless you are on a secure website.

  • When giving out your personal information don’t hesitate to ask where the information goes and who has access to it.

  • If you become a victim of identity theft report it immediately to the Piedmont Police Department. Follow up your report by placing a “credit freeze” on your accounts. Do this via the internet at www.privacy.ca.gov, then click on “Security Freeze” located on the upper left side of the page and follow the directions.

The Piedmont Police Department provides extensive information about preventing and reporting identity theft. Download a copy of the brochure (PDF) or request a copy by calling (510) 420-3000. For information about presentations and classes on identity theft, please contact:
Detective Jeff Spranza 
jspranza@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3013

Detective John Lagios
jlagios@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3015

For additional information contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338.

Internet Safety

The Piedmont Police Department recognizes that the Internet is a vital and growing part of our community. Along with that growth there are complications caused by criminal and sexual predators who use the Internet for their own personal gain. The Piedmont Police Department strives to educate the community about Internet safety and is one of the few police departments conducting Internet Safety Classes for the community. To schedule an internet safety presentation for your group or school, please contact: 
Detective Jeff Spranza 
jspranza@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3013

Detective John Lagios
jlagios@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3015

For additional information on Internet Safety, especially as it relates to children, the following websites may provide helpful hints:

Megan's Law - Sex Offender Information

California’s Megan’s Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of local communities may protect themselves and their children. Megan’s Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was molested and killed by a neighbor. No one in the neighborhood knew that one of their neighbors had two prior convictions for sexually abusing a child. Subsequently, this neighbor was convicted for the murder of Megan Kanka. On May 17, 1996, President Clinton signed the Federal Megan's Law (H.R. 2137) which required the release of relevant information to protect the public from sexually violent offenders. All states now have a form of Megan’s Law.

A new California law, Assembly Bill 488 (Nicole Parra), sponsored by the Attorney General now provides the public with Internet access to detailed information on registered sex offenders.

This expanded access allows the public for the first time to use their personal computers to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement under California’s Megan’s Law. Previously, the information was available only by personally visiting police stations and sheriff offices or by calling a 900 toll-number. The new law was given final passage by the Legislature on August 24, 2004 and signed by the Governor on September 24, 2004.

For more than 50 years, California has required sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies. However, information on the whereabouts of these sex offenders was not available to the public until the implementation of the Child Molester Identification Line in July 1995. The information available was further expanded by California’s Megan’s Law in 1996 (Chapter 908, Stats. Of 1996).

The law is not intended to punish the offender and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against an offender.

Megan’s Law can be viewed at any computer with Internet access; meganslaw.ca.gov or type in Megan’s Law in the web search. The site provides information on how to protect yourself and your family, facts about sex offenders, frequently asked questions, and sex offender registration requirements in California.

The website indicates that many of these registrants are currently in violation of their registration requirements. Any information you may have on these individuals should be reported to your local law enforcement. For additional information and questions about Megan’s Law in the City of Piedmont, please contact:
Detective Jeff Spranza 
jspranza@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3013

Detective John Lagios
jlagios@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3015