Published September 20, 2005
Volume 13, Number 9

Pleasanton Police Department offers Tips for Security in the Workplace

Officer Tamm
Officer Penelope Tamm of the Pleasanton Police Department's Crime
Prevention Unit offers a number of tips to increase security.

Safety in the home is something that all of us concern ourselves with every day, from locking our doors while we’re out to letting neighbors know when we are out of town. However, security in the workplace is something that many people take for granted. While Hacienda offers a number of security options, including patrols that circulate throughout the park 24 hours a day, there are a number of steps that individuals and businesses can take to make their work life as safe as possible.

In areas of security, the Pleasanton Police Department is ready, willing, and able to help. From educational programs to the common sense tips the department offers in this article, Pleasanton’ Police Officers are among the resources that can and should be used to make sure that you are doing all you can to protect yourself and your business. To get some suggestions for security measures—as well as an overview of what the Pleasanton Police Department has to offer—NETWORK spoke with Officer Penelope Tamm of the Department’s Crime Prevention Unit. Here is what Officer Tamm had to offer.

It's helpful to the police to have the street number clearly identified.
It makes it much easier to locate the building in an emergency.

Visitor identification: Knowing who is in your building is an important aspect of security and controlling access to your business is important. “It’s a good idea to have visitors check in with the receptionist, sign in and out, provide them with badges, and collect the badges when they leave,” Tamm says. “Question people if you feel they are somewhere they should not be. If you are not comfortable asking them, check with another employee, or contact security or the police.”

Receptionist Information: A list of expected visitors can be given to the receptionist each day. If an unexpected visitor shows up, their contact person should go to the lobby to greet them. The receptionist should know when people come and go and have control of the sign in sheet and visitor tags.


IDDoor safety: Lock doors to the front of the office, offices within the business, and restrooms. “Having doors locked makes the business more secure and keeps visitors from having access to places where you don’t want them,” Tamm says. “Having locks on the stair access doors and elevators can also help prohibit people from getting to locations without going through the receptionist. Employees should have access cards to the locked doors so that they can get in and out easily.”

Computer safety: Keeping computers such as laptops from being stolen is important, but keeping sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands can be every bit as essential. Keep desktop or laptop computers locked or turned off when not in use so that someone walking by can not read the information on the screen. Lock laptops in a file cabinet or drawer or tether them to a desk. Make sure the company has tracking information about the computers (make, model, serial number) so if they are stolen, the information can be put in the police report. Even marking the computers with unique identification can be helpful if the stolen items are found. “One thing that a lot of companies don’t take into consideration is making sure that all data is permanently removed when a computer is taken out of service,” Tamm says. “In some cases, this can lead to sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands.”

Personal property: Keeping track of your personal belongings has a lot to do with common sense. Do not bring expensive items to work. Don’t leave personal items where they can be taken. Lock purses, wallets, and other important items in file cabinets or drawers or take them with you when you leave your work area. If you do bring items such as these to work, mark them by engraving or some other manner that can’t be removed.

Identity theft: Identity theft has also become a key issue in today’s society and Tamm has some suggestions to help prevent it. “Shred, shred, shred,” she says. “Make sure that all paperwork that has important information is shredded completely before throwing it away. Do not leave your wallet or purse where someone can steal a check or look at your account numbers. Make sure that the company destroys all personal information regarding employees and customers.”

Parking garages/After hours safety: It’s important that businesses have good lighting in their parking lots for the safety of their employees and customers. “If you have to work late, park close to the building and have a co-worker or security guard escort you to your car whenever possible,” Tamm says. “Let someone know what time you are expected to leave the building so they know when you are overdue. Try to work in teams so that two or more people are leaving at the same time. When you are walking out to your car, have your hands empty or only have your keys in your hands. Having your keys out allows you to get into the car quickly. When you get in your car, lock the doors when before you start the engine and leave as soon as you can.”

Vehicle security: Always lock your car and use any additional security devices such as alarms and locking devices for the steering wheel. Do not leave items in the car such as computers, CDs, and cell phones. “It takes no time at all to break into a car and take valuables, and people may not pay attention to someone carrying such items because we all have them,” Tamm says. “If at all possible, park in a well-lit area. Do not leave the vehicle’s windows rolled down at all because it does not take very much room for a thief to get their hand in the opening and pull down the window.”

Public transit: Keep track of the schedule for the type of public transit you will be taking so that you know when you will be boarding—especially during non-peak hours. Being aware of your surroundings when walking to and from public transit is an added precaution you can take. Walk with another person whenever possible.

Business trips: Keep all of your personal items with you at all times. Try not to wear or carry expensive jewelry or other items that will attract the attention of thieves. Watch for staged accidents like spilled coffee that could allow someone to grab your luggage or purse. Once you arrive at the hotel, make sure the room door has a peep hole and use it before answering the door. If someone you are not expecting comes to the door, confirm their identity with the front desk. Use the safe or keep valuables with the front desk. When taking a taxi, ask the front desk the most direct route and approximately how long the trip should take. When renting a car, make sure you have maps and the car is in good shape before you leave.

Contacting the Police: In addition to these security considerations, another thing to remember is that, when you call 911 from your cell phone, it doesn’t dial the local Police Department but connects you with the Highway Patrol. As an added safety measure, be sure to program the Pleasanton Police Department’s direct phone number into your cell phone: 925-931-5100. Also locate the direct numbers of the Police Departments in other nearby areas you frequent so that you can quickly contact them in case of emergency.

The Pleasanton Police Department has a number of brochures available to help you deal with safety issues in the workplace and elsewhere. Call Officer Tamm in the Crime Prevention Unit at 925-931-5233 or email her at ptamm@ci.pleasanton.ca.us with questions regarding crime prevention, brochures, and presentations.

Hacienda Security Programs
Within the Park, security is a key consideration and is implemented through Hacienda Security. Hacienda provides a full security program and services including patrols of the park throughout the day and throughout the week. Hacienda's Security Program provides valuable security services including 24/7 park patrols by highly-visible officers. The security program's objective is to help protect private property and property managed by the Park.

Hacienda Security answers requests for help from any employee, tenant, property manager or Hacienda user. In addition, each tenant in Hacienda has a designated liaison to act as a security coordinator. Matters of park security and safety and any emergency information are directed to the liaison.

To contact a Security Officer, use Hacienda's voicemail/paging system by calling 925-734-6520. Once dialed, you will reach a prerecorded message notifying you that an officer will respond to the name and number you provide. Calls will be returned within five minutes.

Hacienda has a wealth of materials about security and safety that are available to tenants, employees, and owners. They can be ordered online, by calling the 24-Hour Security Hotline at 925-734-6552, or by contacting the Owners Association at 925-734-6500.

A complete description of the Hacienda Security Program is available online. Find all of the information at http://www.hacienda.org/services/services_security.html, http://www.hacienda.org/services/services_security_contact.html, and http://www.hacienda.org/services/services_security_assistance.html.


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