Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Keeping base safe a team effort

by Monica Mendoza

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Security Forces Squadron is asking Peterson personnel and residents to be partners in stopping crime.

The squadron has re-launched its “Crime Stoppers” telephone number, 556- HELP (4357) and its patrol officers are encouraging base personnel and residents to call if they witness a crime. The telephone rings directly to the on-duty desk staff sergeant.

“It’s different from 911 — that number is for emergencies,” said Staff Sgt. Curtis Cain, 21 SFS reports and analysis. “This new number is for reporting crime. Anyone in the community can help us by reporting crime.”

The crime stopper number is another resource for base personnel and residents, Sergeant Cain said. In addition to this number, Peterson personnel can call the Eagle Eyes hotline, 556-4000 to report suspicious activity that threatens the base.

The new crime stoppers program is another aspect of building cooperation between law enforcement and the community, said Maj. Joseph Musacchia, 21 SFS commander.

Last year, the 21 SFS made a major shift in the way it polices, becoming the first in Air Force Space Command to adopt new Air Force policing mandates. The new policing plan, called the Integrated Defense Plan, calls for the SFS to assess the day-to-day risks on and around the base and make duty assignments based on the perceived threats and trends. It also relies on information gathered from a variety of agencies, including the Office of Special Investigation, the Anti-Terrorism office and from community members.

“Everyone on the installation is a sensor, every Airman is a defender,” Major Musacchia said. “It’s not just active duty – it’s family members, contractors, civilians, everyone involved. This installation is our home. It’s our workplace.”

The chief goal of the program is to have a community free of crime, Sergeant Cain said. The idea is that Peterson AFB personnel and residents might have information about a crime that can help police. For example, in the past six months, there were 15 reports of shoplifting at the Base Exchange and eight reports of stolen personal property, including purses and wallets. Someone might know something about these crimes, Sergeant Cain said.

“It is going to take more than security forces to have an effective crime prevention program,” Sergeant Cain said. “We need the community to help us.”

Other aspects of crime prevention including educating people about being safe, securing their property and creating an environment that minimizes the opportunities for criminal activity, he said.

“If you feel a crime is being committed, call the crime stopper number,” Sergeant Cain said. “If you think you see someone stealing, if you think you see someone hit a car and drive off, call.”

n Call Crime Stoppers at 556-HELP (4357) to report a crime.

n Call the Eagle Eyes hotline at 556-4000 to report suspicious activity.

n Call 911 for emergencies.

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