Crime Prevention Resources and Information
Table of Contents
Charles County Crime Solvers
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Charles County Crime Solvers work together to solve crimes and hold criminals accountable for their offenses. Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person involved in criminal activity.
The Crime Solvers Board of Directors, comprised of citizen volunteers, determines the value of the information based on each case. For more information about Crime Solvers, contact the CCSO’s Crime Solvers Coordinator, Cpl. Donald Kabala, at 240-320-6832, visit the Crime Solvers website or Facebook page.
To submit a tip by phone, call 1-866-411-TIPS (1-866-411-8477). You will provide your tip to an operator, who will issue you an identification number. Keep this number in a safe place. You will be asked to call Crime Solvers again at a later date to check the status of your tip. The operator will need your identification number. Please remember, you will remain anonymous throughout the entire process.
To text your tip to Crime Solvers, open a new text message on your phone. In the message area, type “Charles” followed by your message. For example:
Charles: John Doe is selling drugs on Main Street.
Then, send your message to CRIMES (274637).
You will receive an automated reply with an identification number. A police officer may reply to your message but you can end the thread of replies at any time by texting “STOP.” An officer will also reply to update you on the status of your tip, including whether your information qualifies you for a reward.
Remember: You will remain anonymous throughout the entire process. The text messages are encrypted and routed through several protected servers to protect your personal information. The system allows the police to respond to your messages without ever knowing your identity.
Visit the Tip Submit website: www.tipsubmit.com.
You will be asked to enter your country, state and city and select “Charles County Sheriff’s Office” where appropriate. You will be directed to an online form. Please enter as much information as possible. After you submit the form you will receive an identification number and password, which you can use to log in to check the status of your tip or supply more information.
Remember: You will remain anonymous throughout the entire process. The web messages are encrypted and routed through several protected servers to protect your personal information. The system allows the police to respond to your messages without ever knowing your identity.
Crime Prevention Programs
At the core of any safe community is a coalition of citizens and police who work together to prevent crime and address public safety issues. The CCSO is proud of its alliance with the Charles County community. We encourage citizens and businesses to take an active role in public safety by taking part in our crime prevention programs. For more information about crime prevention, call the CCSO Community Organizer at 301-932-3080.
Free Home and Business Security Surveys
Security surveys help you protect your home or business against burglaries and other crimes. A representative from the CCSO will inspect your property, identify security weaknesses and recommend better security practices. The surveys are free.
To schedule your home or business security survey, call the CCSO Community Organizer at 301-932-3080.
Citizens who participate in the Neighborhood Watch program work with the CCSO to prevent and detect crime in their respective neighborhoods. Before a neighborhood can be recognized as an official Neighborhood Crime Watch Organization, residents of at least 60 percent of the homes in the neighborhood must take part in a free CCSO home security survey.
Neighborhood Watch participants are also eligible to join Citizens on Patrol. Citizens in this program volunteer a few hours a month to patrol their neighborhoods for suspicious activity. They never apprehend or approach criminals or suspicious persons; instead, they notify the CCSO immediately when they observe such activity. The citizens use cell phones or two-way radios on their patrols.
For more information about the Neighborhood Watch program, call the CCSO Community Organizer at 301-932-3080.
Meet The Challenge
The CCSO’s Meet the Challenge program gives neighborhood residents the opportunity to take an active role in homeland security and defense. The program trains participants in preparing for, responding to and preventing terrorist attacks. Citizens participate in mock scenarios and group exercises; discuss potential attacks and potential community targets; and create a community-resource database that includes anyone who could offer any type of assistance in an emergency, from transportation to supplies to additional emergency medical services. Not only would the database be essential in the event of an attack but it would also be valuable in the event of other manmade or natural disasters.
Meet the Challenge is offered to neighborhoods that participate in the Neighborhood Watch program. For information about scheduling Meet the Challenge or establishing Neighborhood Watch, call the CCSO Community Organizer at 301-932-3080.
The CCSO became one of the first law enforcement agencies in the nation to offer this type of program in 2004 with assistance from the National Sheriffs’ Association.
National Night Out
Each year on the evening of the first Tuesday in August, the CCSO and neighborhood residents take part in National Night Out (NNO), a celebration of crime- and drug-prevention efforts and of the alliance between police and citizens.
NNO is a national event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). Each year, 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide take part in celebrations. NNO heightens crime- and drug-prevention awareness; generates support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts; and strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
In Charles County, many neighborhoods host block parties with lots of food and family fun including parades, flashlight walks, contests, youth activities and pool parties. The Sheriff, his command staff, officers, McGruff the Crime Dog and McGruff’s nephew Scruff visit the neighborhoods meet citizens in a fun, relaxed atmosphere and reaffirm their commitment to keeping the community safe. Some neighborhoods do not host block parties but still demonstrate their support for NNO by turning on their porch lights for the evening.
The CCSO also hosts an NNO coloring contest for children. Winners receive awards presented by the Sheriff, McGruff and Scruff at a ceremony held in the fall.
For more than a decade, Charles County has been recognized by the NATW for its ever-growing and enthusiastic participation in the event.
For more information about National Night Out, contact the CCSO Community Organizer at 301-932-3080.
Sex Offender Registry
The Maryland Sex Offender Registry provides citizens with access to information about registered sex offenders in Maryland.
Sex offenders in Maryland are required to register at their local law enforcement agency twice a year and must immediately report changes in their residential address or employment. To ensure the information about registered sex offenders in Charles County is current and accurate, the CCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division makes unannounced compliance checks at offenders’ homes and places of employment.
One of the registry’s requirements is a photograph of the offender, which is updated every six months during re-registration. However, if a detective conducting an unannounced compliance check discovers the offender has changed his or her appearance, the detective will photograph the offender again and submit the additional picture to the registry’s website.
The registry was developed as part of efforts to protect both children and adults from people who have been convicted of sex offenses. If you are concerned because a sexual offender resides nearby, you may contact the Special Victims Unit at 301-609-6503 for advice.
Here are some general safety tips to remember:
- Talk to your children about strangers and make sure they know not to enter someone else’s home without your permission.
- Never let young children play outside without a trusted adult’s supervision.
- When older children play outside without supervision, make sure they are always in a group and are never alone, even on a short walk home. Be sure to check on them frequently and review “Stranger Danger” information with them.
- Adults who spend time outside alone should always be aware of their surroundings. Remember common sense tips, like don’t walk or run alone after dark.
Being aware of crime that occurs in your community can help you better protect yourself, your family and your property. With this in mind, the CCSO offers citizens near-instant access to information about crimes through the website CrimeReports.com.
Citizens who visit the CrimeReports website may search for crimes by city, address, zip code and neighborhood. The results will include crimes that occurred in and around the search area. It offers information about the type of crime and when and where it occurred. Helpful Hint: Before entering a location to search, click on “Advanced Search” to the right of the search bar to select which crimes you want returned in your search results. Only certain crimes are selected by default.
More specific details about crimes are not available on the website but citizens who are concerned about a particular incident may contact their District Commander for more information. When calling about a specific event, please be ready to provide the event identifier, a series of numbers that follow an “S” and are found in the event’s description (Example: S090570999). The District Commander will need that information to research the incident about which you are inquiring.
CrimeReports is a third-party service offered in conjunction with Google Maps. CrimeReports provides a list of calls for service and Google Maps provides a visual interpretation of the information by flagging the incident locations on a map of the searched area. CrimeReports uses information provided directly from the CCSO, thereby offering an accurate report of calls for service. The CCSO cannot guarantee the accuracy of Google Maps