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Greene Sheriff’s Office Aims for Crime Prevention Certification - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Greene Sheriff’s Office Aims for Crime Prevention Certification

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Greene County is on its way to becoming a safer place to live. The Sheriff's Office just got the OK-go from the Board of Supervisors to apply for a Certified Crime Prevention Community Program, a certification held by only 12 cities and counties in the state.

The certification will not only keep the community more safe but will also make some homeowners and renters eligible for insurance discounts.

Because getting certified requires a crime prevention specialist to check up on homes in the area, the Greene County's Sheriff's Office already has one going door to door. It's a way to help people better protect their homes from intruders, but having things like fire extinguishers and a certain type of door lock, for example, can also lower homeowner's insurance rates. The crime prevention specialist looks at these things as well as at windows and even yards - to make sure they're well maintained and that walkways are free of shrubs and trees where intruders might hide.

In addition to making the county safer, the certification is a way to make Greene more appealing.

"It's a marketing tool for visitors coming to the county, a business opening up, they're looking for a safe place to live and work," said Steve Keene, program manager for the Greene County Sheriff's Office.

The certification will put the Sheriff's Office at the top of the list for grants, meaning they can continue offering dozens of programs without using taxpayer money.

Once the county is certified, it will be required to keep the crime prevention specialist and have all 12 core safety components listed by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice, such as a neighborhood watch program.

Of those 12 certification components, the sheriff's office already has nine. They hope to have the final three safety elements complete within the next few months.

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