WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - In 2005 the Westlake Police Department instituted a business check program in which officers physically check doors and windows of businesses and residences.
The program has helped reduce robberies in the city as the number has dramatically decreased since the program began.
The program began in 2005, and in 2004 there were 26 robberies, in 2005 it dropped to 16, then seven in 2006, three in 2007 and 2008 and five in 2009.
"I wanted to try and make it as simple as I possibly could, it isn't too complicated. What it entails is just going out and actually physically and visibly checking door for doors for businesses and residences," said Westlake Police Chief Jeremy Cryer.
Once an officer arrives at a business or store the first thing a business they will do a visual test to make sure everything look clear, from there they will check the doors to make sure they are locked and then the windows to make sure nothing is wrong and after the entire store and premises has been cleared.
After each business check the officer will leave a card in the door to saying Westlake Police has been by and everything looks good.
One way the officers are able to prevent the robberies from even happening is to put themselves in the shoes of a criminal according to Westlake officer Eric Borel.
"You try your best to put yourself in those shoes, I think like, 'hey what would I do if I were trying to rob this business and try and get in there,' how would I go about it," said Borel.
The most important aspect of the program is it lets Westlake's residents know that there is a constant police presence.
"If I saw police officers throughout the night always checking businesses, even cars, making sure it's like we're here and we're checking it out," said Borel.
In the five years the program has been in place the police department's watchful eye is certainly deterring criminals