McGruff the Crime Dog World famous “Take a bite out of Crime” bloodhound created for the Nation Crime Prevention
Council for use by American Police in building crime awareness among children. His job is to help people, especially
kids, learn how to be safe and make their neighborhood safe. He also reaches kids through personal appearances as
costume worn by police officers nationwide. You can recognize me by my tan trench coat - I never go anywhere without it.
Unfortunately no neighborhood is completely immune to crime. However, there are steps you can take to help keep your family and your neighborhood safe.
- Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a
time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they will be.
- Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address,
and your work and cell phone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing these, write them down on a card and have them carry
it at all times. Tell your children where you will be and the best way to reach you.
- Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Playing in alleys
or abandoned buildings? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don't want your children to go to?
- Get to know your children's friends. Meet their parents before letting your children to go to their home and keep a list
of their phone numbers. If you can't meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their
house and if they will be supervised.
- Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor's house where your children can go if they need help. Point out
other places they can go for help, like stores, libraries, and police stations.
- Teach children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights, and
what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
- Work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Get to
know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another.
For more information on the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office McGruff Program, please send your questions through the
“Contact Us” section in this website.
J. E. "Chip" Harding
Albemarle Sheriff's Office
411 E. High Street Bldg "B"
Charlottesville, Va 22902