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Kristi Pankratz

Krisit Pankratz

Safe Streets


Now, I’m not one of those crazy, “OMG, the pumpkin flavors are here,” type of girls, but I just brought out my pumpkin cupcake flavored hand sanitizer and holy cow, I want to lick my hands. Seriously, it’s like a cake, pumpkin and vanilla all combined into this deliciousness. All I can say is if I ever get to a point where I’m starving, the sanitizer might be a little too tempting…

Aside from the pumpkin-flavored treats, Fall is definitely on its way. The kids are back to school, routines are in place, weather is starting to cool a tad and it’s getting dark way too early for this girl.

And with the changing of the seasons, there always comes different household things that we have to do, right? Or, maybe clean up the things we let go over the summer because we were too busy having fun?  A lot of these maintenance things may seem like a huge chore, for instance raking leaves. My very first house in Topeka was in an area with these big, old trees. Pretty much my entire weekends were spent raking these stinking leaves. And, let’s not go into the fact that every time I would rake, my dog would decide to pee in every single pile. He was a jerk. Such is life, though, right?

Well, these chores actually also have a crime prevention component, too. There’s a philosophy called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) that basically says that by keeping your property maintained and using the space efficiently, it can help deter crime, i.e. it’s not inviting to criminals.

One of the components of CTPED looks at trees and shrubbery and its impact on crime. We’ve all seen the houses or businesses that have overgrown trees and bushes in the yards that create these awesome hiding spots for criminals. Well, now is the time of year that’s perfect to do some of that maintenance. Trim back the shrubbery and trim up the trees. Take a step back and look at your property from a different perspective: are there places for people to hide? Any dark spots in your yard? Then look for possible solutions to counter those impacts. Maybe solar lights or outside lighting would help.

Also, please remember that if you’re working on your yard, it’s important to make sure your garage door is closed and that you don’t leave tools or equipment unattended.

If you’re interested in learning more about CPTED or having an analysis done on your property, both Safe Streets and the Topeka Police Department provide those services.







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