The City of Salem Police Department received some elite recognition this week as the annual Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police meetings concluded at the Hotel Roanoke. The Virginia State Police’s Help Eliminate Auto Theft program, known as HEAT, presented awards to a select group of 5 Virginia police departments and 14 law enforcement officers to recognize their efforts in reducing vehicle theft and theft of vehicle parts across the Commonwealth.
The Salem Police Department took the top prize in the agency category serving a population from 20,001 to 100,000.
“We are grateful to law enforcement agencies and officers from throughout Virginia who join with the Virginia State Police in fighting vehicle theft,” says First Sgt. Lazear. “These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize outstanding efforts.”
The HEAT Awards program is open to all Virginia law enforcement entities and employees who work in auto theft enforcement and prevention.
“Virginia citizens also have an important role to play in preventing auto theft,” he says. “By following a few common-sense tips, they can protect their vehicles.” The HEAT program recommends the following:
• Take your keys and lock your doors every time you leave your vehicle.
• Never leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. Place them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight.
• Be aware of your surroundings when out and about.
• Park in well-lit areas.
• Invest in an audible or visible deterrent.
• Install GPS or other tracking devices.