St. Joseph, Missouri is a river town with an interesting history. St. Joseph was the starting point for the famous Pony Express and is where Jesse James died. This city with a population of 76,967 in 2014 is the eighth largest city in Missouri. The whole metropolitan area around the city has a population of approximately 127,329. It is the county seat of Buchanan County. St. Joe has two interstate highways, four U.S. routes, and four state routes serving it, so it is definitely not isolated. There are many public schools and private schools to educate the children and when they are ready for college they can attend Missouri Western State University. St. Joseph has a lot to offer its residents and visitors including many parks, golf courses, skate parks, sports complexes, a water park, and a river-walk. It also has a nationally known 26-mile parkway system and an urban trail system. Residents and visitors have a lot of leisure activities to keep them busy. St. Joseph is an affordable city to live in with average housing prices at around $129,000.00 and house and condo median pricing at $98,800.00. The median income for residents is $41,532.00.
Residents or people considering purchasing a home can find out crime statistics for individual neighborhoods by going to https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/mo/st-joseph/crime/ and inputting the home address. They can also type in “St. Joseph, MO crime rates” to get sites that list the safest neighborhoods and city crime statistics. A resident of St. Joseph has a 1 in 211 chance of being a victim of crime. The average for the state is 1 in 226. There are 56.65 property crimes per 1,000 people. These crime statistics may lead many residents to take steps to protect their homes from crime. What level of security measures homeowners take may depend on how safe their neighborhood is and how much money they have to spend on security measures.
A homeowner can do a little research to decide how much security their home needs. What are the crime statistics for the neighborhood the home is located in? What are the police response times for various crimes? How close is the nearest police station? How safe do neighbors feel? Is there a neighborhood watch organization active near the home? The homeowner can go to http://nnw.org/find-a-watch-program/ to find out about a program near them. Are there gangs operating nearby? What types and numbers of crimes have been covered recently by the local newspapers and television stations? A person can key in www.everyblock.com/ to find news stories near their neighborhood. How many people in the neighborhood have alarm systems?
Even people with low budgets living in the safest neighborhoods should consider these security measures. Clean up around the house and yard and trim back plants, shrubs, and trees to reduce hiding places for thieves. Install motion activated lights by the front and back entryways of a house. These can alert the homeowner to intruders in the yard and make coming home after dark safer. Install strong, good quality locks on all doors. Use long screws to install the locks. Sliding doors should have a piece of pipe or dowel placed between the door frame and the sliding part of the door for extra security. Windows should all have locking latches and outer screens in good working order. A good practice is for the homeowner to check all possible entry points of a home and secure them. Don’t forget things like dog doors. Getting to know the neighbors on both sides and across the street makes living in a neighborhood more enjoyable and also helps with home security. When neighbors have friendly relationships, they watch out for each other. Intruders have a harder time getting by unnoticed. Don’t post upcoming trips or nights out on the internet. Don’t let newspapers and mail pile up when on a trip. Take the time to stop them from being delivered. Have lights on timers to make it look like someone is home while the family is on a trip. Consider getting a family dog. Post beware of dog signs in the front yard. Even the best locks and window latches will not do any good if family members are careless and don’t engage them. Before leaving home and at bedtime the homeowner should make house rounds making sure doors and windows are secured.
The next step a homeowner can take is to purchase a home security or alarm system. The homeowner has the choice of hiring a security company to provide, install, and monitor a security system or to purchase home security equipment themselves and install and monitor it. The homeowner’s decision may depend on convenience and cost. There are security cameras and home alarms for as little as $50.00 each unit. There are home security packages that include alarms, cameras, motion sensors, control panels, and door and window sensors. The alarms can be programmed and connected to the cellular network so alarms go to the homeowner’s e-mail or phone, or to the local police department. Security camera footage can go to the computer for storage. The advantage of paying a monthly fee to a security company is the 24 hour, 7 days a week off-site monitoring. The security company will call for verification of a problem when the alarm is activated. This can save false alarms to the police station. They usually provide panic buttons so if a family member is hurt or frightened they can summon help. If someone is trying to break in while family members are home, a quick response is needed. There are many homeowners who are unable to install their own systems that need security. Security companies have many security programs to choose from. For more information, please visit the website.