City of Pickerington

Safety Tips

Emergency Responses

Emergency responses to incidents at homes and business can easily be delayed if the numbers are not visible to those who respond. The PPD suggests that every home and business have numbers that are reflective and easy to read from the roadway that can speed up the arrival of emergency responders. In addition to being visible, too many times vehicles block the numbers, brush or trees are overgrown or the porch light is not working and the numbers are not seen.

The PPD reminds residents that during any emergency, whether a heart attack or a Domestic Violence incident or even someone breaking into a home, precious minutes can be lost if the responders cannot read your house numbers.

The Violet Township Fire Department can be contacted to obtain reflective signs.


Safety Tips

The City of Pickerington has a juvenile curfew law which prohibits or restricts children under the age of 18 from being out and about after certain hours.

  • If you are under 15 you must be inside by 10:00 pm
  • If you are under 17 you must be inside by 11:00 pm
  • If you are under 18 you must be inside by midnight

The Pickerington Codified Ordinance states:

648.11 MINOR'S CURFEW.

(a)Responsibility of Minors.

Minors under fourteen.  No minor under the age of fourteen years shall engage in any employment or be upon or in any street, park or public place in the Municipality between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day, unless accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or other person having the care, custody and/or control of such minor.

Minors under sixteen.  No minor under the age of sixteen years shall loiter or be upon or in any street, park or public place in the Municipality between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day, unless accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or other person having the care, custody and/or control of such minor. 

Minors under eighteen.  No minor under the age of eighteen years shall loiter or be upon or in any street, park or public place between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m., unless accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or other person having the care, custody and/or control of such minor. 

Responsibility of Parents.  No parent, guardian or other person having the care, custody and/or control of a minor under the age of eighteen years shall knowingly permit such minor to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a) hereof. 

Exceptions.  A minor may travel, traverse or be upon or in any street, park or public place, while directly en route to or from any public or parochial school functions or service club dances.

The Fairfield County Municipal Prosecutor has issued a new policy regarding how to process the receipt of bad checks. The new policy covers how to accept checks for your business, what course of actions to take if a check is returned, and what conditions must be met before prosecution of the offender can be completed. The City of Pickerington Prosecutor has accepted this policy into the Mayor's Court as well.

Identity theft is rising. Many times professional thieves use false pretenses to obtain personal information from you. The Pickerington Police Department wants the community to know what to do in the event this happens.

Never give any information over the phone, or be internet unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that the company or organization is legitimate and you have dealt with them before. This includes phone numbers, because many times the phone call to you has been random number punching.

Your Social Security number belongs to you and should NEVER be given, except to Police when you have face to face contact with a police officer. There may be occasions at banks and other places but generally speaking your social security number should be protected.

Recently the Ohio Department of Commerce issued an alert where an organization is using their information to obtain your information. It is not unusual for thieves to use such names as The US Government, The FBI, The Department of Commerce, The local Police and Fire Department, as well as disaster relief services to get money and information from you while lining their own pockets.

If your identity has been stolen or used to make false purchases call the police. We will direct you to the proper authority for mail, international or local help.

You can also stop identity theft by keeping your wallet and purse with you at all times, never leaving them in cars or accessible to anyone except you.

Homes are generally easy targets for crime, there are some steps you should consider. Securing your home should not be a secondary thought but a primary thought! Having a professional risk assessment completed will help you fight against those who enter your home.

Risk assessments can help you determine the type of electronic security services available in your area as well as providing prevention measures to keep you and your family safe, as well as your property.

Always keep the doors secure if not in use. Never use hollow type doors. Use doors that are recommended to withstand a few hits with a sledge hammer, making it more difficult for a suspect to enter. The use of deadbolts with protected strike plates are also great deterrents.

Proper lighting is one of the best crime deterrents we have. Lighting at all doors and driveways can help keep suspects away from your home. But remember, if a light bulb burns out it should be immediately replaced. We highly recommend sensor driven lighting systems.

Alarms and video equipment should work hand in hand. Inexpensive equipment will result in poor quality pictures making positive identification impossible. You get what you pay for.

When video and lighting work together you avoid glare and other distorted images. Be sure to have your risk assessment company check the system at night time when you are away from your business to determine if the system works the way you want it to.

Would you leave a million dollars in your car? The Pickerington Police Department is encouraging everyone NOT to leave any child in car or near a car unattended. Nearly 75 children are seriously injured or killed by this form of neglect annually.

When picking up or dropping off children at day care centers, do not leave any child in the car. Do not leave the car running. Carjacking does occur and within seconds you could lose your child.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.81

Children who are either or both - (1) less than 4 years of age, (2) less than 40 pounds - MUST be in an approved child safety seat, installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Children less than 8 years of age, or less then 80 pounds must be seated in an approved booster seat, installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Teach your family how to use 9-1-1 most effectively.  For more details, see the information supplied by The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition.

The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition

In 2006, the Ohio Department of Transportation initiated a 100% federally funded grant program called "Safe Routes to Schools" (SRTS). The Program is an opportunity to make walking and bicycling to school safer for children and to increase the number of children who choose to walk and bicycle. The program is being credited at school districts in other states as one which enhances children's health and well-being, eases traffic congestion near schools, improves the air quality and improves community members' overall quality of life.

SRTS programs use a variety of education, engineering and enforcement strategies that help make routes safer for children to walk and bicycle to school and encouragement strategies to entice more children to walk and bike. They have grown popular in recent years in response to problems created by an expanding built environment, a growing reliance on motor vehicles for student transportation and with the more recent development of federal and state funding of SRTS programs.

Things to remember:

  1. Always walk on the sidewalk if there is one.
  2. If there is no sidewalk, walk along the side of the road FACING TRAFFIC.
  3. Be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime.
  4. Darting out in front of a parked car is dangerous. The driver of cars coming down the street can't see you.

Safety tips for crossing the street:

  1. Stop at the curb or the edge of the road if there is no curb.
  2. Stop and look left, then right, then left again for moving cars before you step into the street.
  3. If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right, left again until no cars are coming.
  4. If a car is parked where you are crossing, look to make sure there is no driver and that the car is not running.

Next, go to the edge of the car and look left, right, left to see if cars are coming. When no cars are coming, walk - do not run - across the road.  Keep looking left, right, left for cars while you are crossing.

Wait until you see the WALK signal, following again the basic rules for crossing.

A flashing DON'T WALK signal indicates you should not start to cross the street; however, if you are in the middle of the street and the DON'T WALK signal starts flashing, continue walking. You have time to complete the crossing.

If you see a steady DON'T WALK signal, do not begin to cross the street! Wait for the next WALK signal.

Remember to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you. Do not take a walk signal, a green traffic light, or a driver for granted.

The WALK signal and the green traffic light indicate that it is your turn to cross the street, but they DO NOT mean it is always safe to cross.

The WALK signal and the green light mean look, and then if it is safe, go.

Rules to ride by:

  1. No playing in the road.
  2. No riding on busy streets.
  3. No riding in the dark.
  4. Stop for all stop signs.
  5. Ride on the right, WITH TRAFFIC.
  6. Use your own best judgment - do not let friends get you into danger.
  7. Always wear your bike helmet.
  8. Wear your helmet correctly - not too loose and not tipped back on your head.
  9. Use hand signals.
  10. Ride with both hands on the handlebars.
  11. Only one person per bike.
  12. Obey all traffic signs and laws.
  13. Don't wear earphones or earbuds.
  14. Make eye contact with drivers at intersections.
  15. Do not pass on curves where you cannot see ahead.
  16. Signal when passing - ring your bell or say "passing on your left"
  17. No cell phone use or texting while riding.
  18. Ride on trails or multi-use paths wherever possible as a safe alternative to riding on a busy roadway.

When riding on the street, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. Bicyclists should be riding in the same traffic pattern as a car. The same rules apply for a bicycle as a car. Reflective material, lights in the front and a red flashing light on the rear of the bike should be used at night. Ohio law enforcement can write citations to violators, which could cost $85 - $100 per violation. Lights can be purchased for less!

Skaters should follow the same rules as pedestrians. If the area is unsafe to skate, then skaters should carry their boards. The City of Pickerington has a skate park and parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up their children. Parking lots and businesses are private property. Many of the businesses do not allow skating on their property. Residential streets may appear to be tempting but are dangerous!

When bicycling or skating, you should always wear a helmet and protective clothing to minimize injuries. Keep in mind that reaction time to move out of the way of a moving vehicle is never fast enough! We strongly discourage running or walking when it is getting dark.

Gangs exist in every county in the State of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has tracked over 700 groups that pose threats to our communities and Pickerington is not immune.

So what is the definition of a gang? Ohio law describes this as any group of people of three or more that may use a symbol or sign, or wear identical clothing, specifically in colors and with the purpose to break the law or have criminal intent.

How can I tell if my son or daughter is in a gang or wants to be in a one?

  • First and foremost recognize that gangs may include both males and females or male only and female only groups.
  • The easiest way to determine if your child has joined or wants to join a gang is to see if there have been significant behavior issues or changes. This may include rudeness, bullying parents and siblings, disobedience, failure to follow up on chores and homework to name a few. More importantly, take a look at the change of friends he or she is suddenly hanging out with. Are their grades falling? Is truancy or tardiness a problem at school? Have they been suspended or threatened with suspension for bad behavior at school? Are they involved in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco? If they tell you that they do not do alcohol, drugs and tobacco, check the odor on their clothing. Are they staying out past your curfew boundaries? Are there obvious signs of graffiti, two or three color clothing? Are there unexplainable expensive items or large sums of money? Or do they admit to being in a gang.
  • Remember that peer pressure is tough on our kids and they easily fall into the trap of wanting to be with those who appear to have no rules to follow or parents to control them. Most kids who join gangs look for things they do not have at home or do not perceive that they have it made at home, such as protection, acceptance, power and even a level of excitement of being in a gang.
  • Lastly, recognize that entry into a gang is by initiation NOT by invitation.  It is a physical initiation either by getting pummeled, leaving bruises, welts and even fractured bones or by rape by the gang members.

Internet Safety

The following information comes from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It helps parents identify behaviors that may indicate inappropriate activities on-line.

For further information, or to report incidents, please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Although on-line computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for children expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and different ways of life they can also be exposed to dangers while exploring the information highway. There are individuals who attempt to sexually exploit children through the Internet. Some of these individuals gradually seduce their targets through the use of attention, affection, kindness, and even gifts.

These predators often are willing to devote considerable amounts of time, money, and energy to this process. They empathize with the problems of children, and know all about their latest music, hobbies, and interests. They attempt to gradually lower children's inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations. By this time the child will consider the person a "friend," and won't want to hurt their feelings or get them into trouble.

  • You find pornography on your child's computer.
    • Pornography is often used in the sexual victimization of children. Sex offenders often supply their potential victims with pornography as a means of opening sexual discussions and for seduction. Child pornography may be used to show the child victim that sex between children and adults is "normal." Parents should be conscious of the fact that a child may hide the pornographic files on diskettes from them. This may be especially true if the computer is used by other family members.
  • Your child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize.
    • While talking to a child victim on-line is a thrill for a computer-sex offender, it can be very cumbersome. Most want to talk to the children on the telephone. They often engage in "phone sex" with the children and often seek to set up an actual meeting for real sex. While a child may be hesitant to give out his/her home phone number, the computer-sex offenders will give out theirs. With Caller ID, they can readily find out the child's phone number. Some computer-sex offenders have even obtained toll-free 800 numbers, so that their potential victims can call them without their parents finding out. Others will tell the child to call collect. Both of these methods result in the computer-sex offender being able to find out the child's phone number.
  • Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don't know.
    • As part of the seduction process, it is common for offenders to send letters, photographs, and all manner of gifts to their potential victims. Computer-sex offenders have even sent plane tickets in order for the child to travel across the country, to meet them.
  • Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.
    • A child looking at pornographic images or having sexually explicit conversations does not want you to see it on the screen.
  • Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.
    • Computer-sex offenders will work very hard at driving a wedge between a child and their family or at exploiting their relationship. They will accentuate any minor problems at home that the child might have. Children may also become withdrawn after sexual victimization.
  • Your child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else.
    • Even if you don't subscribe to an on-line service or Internet service, your child may meet an offender while on-line at a friend's house or the library. Most computers come preloaded with on-line and/or Internet software. Computer-sex offenders will sometimes provide potential victims with a computer account for communications with them.
  • Consider talking openly with your child about your suspicions. Tell them about the dangers of computer-sex offenders.
  • Review what is on your child's computer. If you don't know how, ask a friend, co-worker, relative, or other knowledgeable person. Pornography or any kind of sexual communication can be a warning sign.
  • Use the Caller ID service to determine who is calling your child. Most telephone companies that offer Caller ID also offer a service that allows you to block your number from appearing on someone else's Caller ID.
  • Telephone companies also offer an additional service feature that rejects incoming calls that you block. This rejection feature prevents computer-sex offenders or anyone else from calling your home anonymously.
  • Devices can be purchased that show telephone numbers that have been dialed from your home phone. Additionally, the last number called from your home phone can be retrieved provided that the telephone is equipped with a redial feature. You will also need a telephone pager to complete this retrieval. This is done using a numeric-display pager and another phone that is on the same line as the first phone with the redial feature. Using the two phones and the pager, a call is placed from the second phone to the pager. When the paging terminal beeps for you to enter a telephone number, you press the redial button on the first (or suspect) phone. The last number called from that phone will then be displayed on the pager.
  • Monitor your child's access to all types of live electronic communications (i.e., chat rooms, instant messages, Internet Relay Chat, etc.), and monitor your child's e-mail. Computer-sex offenders almost always meet potential victims via chat rooms. After meeting a child on-line, they will continue to communicate electronically often via e-mail.

Should any of the following situations arise in your household, via the Internet or on-line service, you should immediately contact your local or state law enforcement agency, the FBI, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • Your child received child pornography.
  • Your child has been sexually solicited by someone who knows that your child is under 18 years of age.
  • Your child has received sexually explicit images from someone that knows your child is under the age of 18.

If one of these scenarios occurs, keep the computer turned off in order to preserve any evidence for future law enforcement use. Unless directed to do so by the law enforcement agency, you should not attempt to copy any of the images and/or text found on the computer.

  • Communicate, and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger.
  • Spend time with your children on-line. Have them teach you about their favorite on-line destinations.
  • Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom. It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member of the household.
  • Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex offenders. Use of chat rooms, in particular, should be heavily monitored. While parents should utilize these mechanisms, they should not totally, rely on them.
  • Always maintain access to your child's on-line account and randomly check his/her e-mail. Be aware that your child could be contacted through the U.S. Mail. Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.
  • Teach your child the responsible use of the resources on-line. There is much more to the on-line experience than chat rooms.
  • Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child's school, the public library, and at the homes of your child's friends. These are all places, outside your normal supervision, where your child could encounter an on-line predator.
  • Understand, even if your child was a willing participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and is the victim. The offender always bears the complete responsibility for his or her actions.
  • Internet - An immense, global network that connects computers via telephone lines and/or fiber networks to storehouses of electronic information. With only a computer, a modem, a telephone line and a service provider, people from all over the world can communicate and share information with little more than a few keystrokes.
  • Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) - Electronic networks of computers that are connected by a central computer setup and operated by a system administrator or operator and are distinguishable from the Internet by their "dial-up" accessibility. BBS users link their individual computers to the central BBS computer by a modem which allows them to post messages, read messages left by others, trade information, or hold direct conversations. Access to a BBS can, and often is, privileged and limited to those users who have access privileges granted by the systems operator.
  • Commercial On-Line Services (COS) - Examples of COSs are America Online, Prodigy, Compu-Serve and Microsoft Network, which provide access to their service for a fee. COSs generally offer limited access to the Internet as part of their total service package.
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) - Examples of ISPs are Erols, Concentric and Netcom. These services offer direct, full access to the Internet at a flat, monthly rate and often provide electronic-mail service for their customers. ISPs often provide space on their servers for their customers to maintain World Wide Web (WWW) sites. Not all ISPs are commercial enterprises. Educational, governmental and nonprofit organizations also provide Internet access to their members.
  • Public Chat Rooms - Created, maintained, listed and monitored by the COS and other public domain systems such as Internet Relay Chat. A number of customers can be in the public chat rooms at any given time, which are monitored for illegal activity and even appropriate language by systems operators (SYSOP). Some public chat rooms are monitored more frequently than others, depending on the COS and the type of chat room. Violators can be reported to the administrators of the system (at America On-line they are referred to as terms of service [TOS]) which can revoke user privileges. The public chat rooms usually cover a broad range of topics such as entertainment, sports, game rooms, children only, etc.
  • Electronic Mail (E-Mail) - A function of BBSs, COSs and ISPs which provides for the transmission of messages and files between computers over a communications network similar to mailing a letter via the postal service. E-mail is stored on a server, where it will remain until the addressee retrieves it. Anonymity can be maintained by the sender by predetermining what the receiver will see as the "from" address. Another way to conceal one's identity is to use an "anonymous remailer" which is a service that allows the user to send an e-mail message repackaged under the remailer's own header, stripping off the originator's name completely.
  • Chat - Real-time text conversation between users in a chat room with no expectation of privacy. All chat conversation is accessible by all individuals in the chat room while the conversation is taking place.
  • Instant Messages - Private, real-time- text conversations between two users in a chat room or message service such as Instant Messenger.
  • Internet Relay Chat (IRC) - Real-time text conversation similar to public and/or private chat rooms on COS.
  • Usenet (Newsgroups) - Like a giant, cork bulletin board where users post messages and information. Each posting is like an open letter and is capable of having attachments, such as graphic image files (GIFs). Anyone accessing the newsgroup can read the postings take copies of posted items, or post responses. Each newsgroup can hold thousands of postings. Currently, there are over 29,000 public newsgroups and that number is growing daily. Newsgroups are both public and/or private. There is no listing of private newsgroups. A user of private newsgroups has to be invited into the newsgroup and be provided with the newsgroup's address.
  • Instruct your children to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet on-line.
  • Instruct your children to never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet or on-line service to people they do not personally know.
  • Instruct your children to never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number.
  • Instruct your children to never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could be sexually explicit images.
  • Instruct your children to never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing.
  • Instruct your children that whatever they are told on-line may or may not be true.

Deer Hunting Guidelines

Starting with the 2014 opening day of archery deer season on September 27th, the City of Pickerington will be allowing deer hunting within the city limits. Any land owner wishing to allow deer hunting on their property must get a permit from the city. The land owner must have at least five acres of continuous property to be considered. Anyone wanting to hunt deer within the city must first have permission from a land owner who has had their land approved by the city for deer hunting and then get a permit from the city to hunt. Only archery hunting is permitted. You may stop by the Pickerington Police Department at 1311 Refugee Road to pick up a complete packet of the list of guidelines and information any time.

Deer Hunting Guidelines