ALEXANDRIA, Va., (WUSA9) --"After what happened, that horrible crime, you really need to, you know, feel safer," says Veronica De Allende.
Home safety is on her mind a lot these days. So, the Alexandria homeowner reached out to her local police department's crime prevention specialists to give her house a security check up.
"You want to have these bushes below the window sill to prevent someone from being back here," says Officer Charles Lloyd.
He is the man Alexandria businesses and homeowners call when they need to know if their property is safely secured.
"Because of these unfortunate incidents more people have become aware that they might be vulnerable and they want to settle that before they do become a victim," says Officer Lloyd.
In Veronica's case, the crime prevention specialist tells her to move the porch light from the side and place it above the door.
He says, "that way when you turn on the light, this area here is illuminated revealing who is on the other side of the door."
The front door can be easy access for crooks to kick in. So, install a sheath over the lock and pair it with a steel security strike plate.
"And if someone were to kick that multiple times, they would have a difficult time breaking into it.," says Lloyd.
Now up to the formal living area. Officer Charles Lloyd tells the homeowner to replace a single cylinder lock with one that has a double cylinder.
"You need to make sure the key is available for emergency escape," he says.
Veronica can add another level of reinforcement to keep burglars out, a dowel and pieces of velcro inside the window's track.
Officer Charles Lloyd says, "I want to make it clear that everything that we went over today will not stop someone from breaking into your house. It will slow them down."
"Now that I have much more information, I feel like I'm going to be able to do the right stuff and be able to feel much safer," says Veronica De Allende.
Alexandria Police Department's Crime Prevention Specialists, Officer Charles Lloyd, says these home security reinforcements are really simple, and that you can even do it yourself. It will cost you between $100 and $150.
Also, if you're interested in learning more or signing up your community for a self home assessment class, email firstname.lastname@example.org.