Yitzy Schleifer: Making our families safer

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Baltimore Jewish Life – Dec. 21, 2015

Unfortunately it is no secret that Baltimore City has had a devastating year of crime and murders.

Thankfully our neighborhoods have been spared the brunt of the violence that other City neighborhoods have experienced, however burglaries in our neighborhood have become more prevalent.  Law enforcement is heavily taxed by the steady increase of gun violence making it even more difficult for the Police to have the resources available to patrol and respond to lower priority property crimes.

Seeing this trend, Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, community liaison to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office decided to take a proactive approach. For the first time, three Baltimore City agencies and two community safety patrols joined together to make a difference. Mr. Schleifer commented, “Realizing the need and the problem, I couldn’t stand idly by and let things in our community just get worse; we needed to demonstrate that we are part of the solution.”

To that end Yitzy brought the State’s Attorney’s Office, Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore City Sherriff’s Department, Baltimore Shomrim Safety Patrol and the Northwest Citizens Patrol together to conduct – free of charge – home security assessments for any home owner that requested one. Close to 50 home owners registered to have their homes evaluated.

The one thing that stood out among the registrants was that the majority of the homes assed had already been victims of a crime in the past. Some of the suggestions made by the law enforcement and volunteer evaluators concerned placing dead-bolt locks on doors that have window panels, proper lighting with motion detector features, and making sure not to leave items near your home that can actually assist the criminals gain access.

At some homes, loose tools were left outside or bricks that may have had a purpose to hold up an air-conditioner, but were now just sitting on the porch and could be used to break a window to gain access.  Laura Greer, one of the home owner participants commented after the inspections, “Thank you for the home security inspection today, what a great service that was to our community! (I am) so grateful to live in Baltimore.”

The program was a clear success and Mr. Schleifer reflected that, “there is no reason to make it easy for the criminals to target our neighborhoods.” In this instance the words of Benjamin Franklin could not ring truer,   “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Full article and photo essay can be found here.