BLADENSBURG — Bladensburg and Martinsburg area residents are encouraged to attend a crime awareness seminar on Monday to learn personal safety information from representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Licking County Sheriff’s Office, Utica Police Department and Knox County Sheriff David Barber.
When: Monday, January 25 at 6 p.m.
Where: East Knox Elementary School cafeteria, 25821 New Guilford Road, Bladensburg
The seminar will take place at the East Knox Elementary School cafeteria, 25821 New Guilford Road, beginning at 6 p.m. EK Elementary Principal Matt Caputo will host the seminar.
FBI Special Agent Harry Trombitas will talk to residents about personal safety procedures. He was asked to participate in the discussion by Jim McLaughlin, a Utica native who said he realized his friends in the area could use some guidance in dealing with the increased crime in the area since the beginning of 2009.
“I have family and friends in the area and who are very concerned with personal safety,” McLaughlin said. “Harry Trombitas speaks from experience. He’s seen it all and will provide plenty of helpful and common sense information.”
McLaughlin, marketing director at CES Credit Union, met Trombitas when he gave a presentation to employees at the credit union regarding bank robberies.
“Considered to be one of the foremost experts on criminal activity in central Ohio, agent Trombitas has worked closely with law enforcement agencies across Ohio on many cases, including bank robberies, fraud, drugs and federal crimes,” McLaughlin said.
Trombitas will discuss topics ranging from safety at ATM machines, to store and home safety, identity theft, and building a good rapport with neighbors and local law enforcement.
“This is not shocking information,” Trombitas said. “It’s today’s reality. We often view smaller communities as very vulnerable. We all need to be reminded these crimes can happen in small, rural communities.”
Regardless of where the crime occurs, and how much police protection is available, crime is going to happen, he said.
“Any citizen that believes you can stop every single crime from happening lives in a dream world,” Trombitas said.
Property owners need to make sure their property and buildings are secure in order to detour strikes from criminals.
“Anyone can see that a shed full of equipment is unattended,” he said. “We need to make it harder for criminals.”
With that in mind, Trombitas will present a 60-minute talk on safety that includes a PowerPoint presentation as well as a couple of video clips.
Law enforcement officials will discuss the importance of residents filing a timely, detailed report of incidences as well as suspicious activities. A question-and-answer session will follow.
There is no charge for the seminar. Since the availability of law enforcement may change due to weather conditions, residents are asked to check with CES at 397-1136 or the Web site at www.cescu.com or the News at 397-5333 or www.mountvernonnews.com if snowy or icy weather threatens to postpone the event.
“We are excited to bring residents and law enforcement together to keep the lines of communication open,” said News Publisher Kay Culbertson. “It is our pleasure to work with CES Credit Union to offer the opportunity to exchange this important information in a civil, respectful atmosphere.”
Sandy Coffing, vice president of operations at CES, added, “Law enforcement has a tough and often thankless job. We want to support them and we’re glad to work with the News and East Knox Elementary to get this timely information out. We all can work together with law enforcement to make a difference. ”
The seminar is organized and sponsored by CES Credit Union and the Mount Vernon News.