Biz Beat: Crime prevention focus of new program |

Biz Beat: Crime prevention focus of new program

Sara Thompson

Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Business owners wanting professional security advice now can take advantage of a new crime-prevention assessment.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department and Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce are working together to provide free crime-prevention advice to chamber members.

Betty “B” Gorman, LTSSCC president, said similar programs have been successful in other communities.

To participate, business owners just have to call the chamber to set up an appointment with an officer. The officer meets with the business owner and walks through the store, then returns two to three weeks later with a comprehensive, written report for the owner to review, Gorman said.

Officer Aaron Crawford said the program helps the police department take a proactive approach to crime in the city, and it helps business owners become familiar with the department, too.

Crawford said crimes tend to increase as the economy declines, so it’s especially important now for businesses to work on prevention, given the state of the economy.

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“The average business owner doesn’t think about security, because they’re busy trying to keep their business afloat,” Crawford said. “That’s what we’re here for.”

Doug Rousse, owner of Lake Tahoe Master Framing, said his store has been broken into twice. Since speaking with police officers, he now knows what other steps he needs to take to protect his business. He recommended that other business owners participate in the program.

“We need to take advantage of all the resources available to us,” Rousse said.

Some basic things all businesses can do is keep front windows free of clutter so police officers can see inside; and make daily deposits so money isn’t left in the shop.

Crawford added that owners should make sure that police dispatch has current information on their business, so if a break-in occurs, the correct person can be notified right away. Forms are available in the front office of the police department.

For more information on the program, call the chamber at (775) 588-1728.

The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce will host a business forum Wednesday.

The “Retailers … Get Prepared” forum begins at 8 a.m. at the chamber office, and reservations are required.

The offices are at 169 Highway 50, across from Kahle Drive. For more information or to make reservations, call (775) 588-1728, or go to

With Election Day approaching, and the presidential debates heating up, 7-Eleven stores are holding their own 7-Election.

The stores invite people to pour their favorite hot beverage to show their support for their preferred candidate in either a red 20-ounce cup for Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, or a blue 20-ounce cup for Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

Undecided customers can choose unmarked cups if they want.

The 7-Election will run through Nov. 4. The results will be counted at the register, and the national and state results can be viewed at

” Have information on your business that you’d like to share? Call reporter Sara Thompson at (530) 542-8009 or e-mail