Message from Millbrae Police Chief Roger Copeland
Dear Millbrae Residents,
This past Tuesday, several dozen members of the community attended the City Council meeting to express their concerns with the dramatic rise in burglaries over the past few years. First, I would like to thank everyone who came out and shared their thoughts and stories. Your comments did not fall on deaf ears, nor is this an issue we have been blind to.
As one commenter noted, burglary and larceny crimes in Millbrae have doubled in the past four years. While this rising problem is not unique to Millbrae, these personal attacks are especially harmful because they invade our homes, places that are supposed to be intimate sanctuaries for our families. I wish I had an immediate solution to this problem, but I don’t.
What I can tell you is that resolving this issue is one of our top priorities. My deputies are in your neighborhoods each day, patrolling and responding to calls of suspicious activity. They are doing their best to get to know the people who live in the different neighborhoods so that if they see someone that doesn’t belong there they can respond appropriately. Unfortunately, putting more deputies on the street isn’t the silver bullet we would like it to be. They can only be in one place at a time.
My request of you is to help be the eyes and ears of my deputies. If you call, we will respond. If you see suspicious activity, or if something doesn’t feel right, call 9-1-1. Do not hesitate or second guess yourself. Call 9-1-1 anyways. If it’s not a criminal, my deputies will respond to the call, investigate the situation, and let them go about their day. But it’s these calls-for-service that give us the opportunity to respond and help apprehend the criminals responsible for these crimes.
In addition to calling 9-1-1, there are things we can do to help ourselves and each other.
Tip #1: Put a lock on your side gate, and lock your doors and windows when you are away. Don’t give burglars a chance to hide their crimes by attacking your home from the rear, out of sight. This may not stop them, but it’s a barrier that makes getting into your home that much harder. In addition, a person jumping a fence or breaking a window raises more warning signs for the surrounding neighbors.
Tip #2: Get to know your neighbors, and keep an eye out for them. The majority of criminals committing burglaries are not your neighbors or their kids. They are thugs coming into Millbrae from other cities and counties. They hit a home, then jump back on the freeway and leave. Knowing your neighbors will help you know who belongs in your neighborhood and who doesn’t. The more we look out for each other, the safer our community will be. Communication is the key.
In the coming weeks, I will be hosting a community-wide public safety meeting to get feedback from you on how we can work together to address this problem. When we announce the official date of the meeting, I ask that you make it a priority and attend. While the rise in burglaries may make you feel unsafe, I assure you Millbrae is still a great and safe community to live in. If we all work together, I promise you we will solve this problem and others like it.
I appreciate your concern with the growing problem of burglaries in our community. Please, call 9-1-1 if you see any suspicious activities. My deputies and I will continue to do our best and stay vigilant in apprehending these criminals, but we need your help.
Chief, Millbrae Police Department