CRESTVIEW — Crestview Police Community Services Officers Wanda Hulion and Sam Kimmons recently completed a three-week State Attorney's office course in Orlando. After 120 hours of classroom and field training, the Crestview officers are certified Florida Crime Prevention Practitioners.

The officers now offer free residential and business security checks. They created an assessment form, based on materials presented in the course, that provides a guideline they use when they perform security inspections. A copy of the completed assessment is provided to the home or business owner and includes the officers' recommendations.

"The information's confidential," Kimmons said.

Tips that he and Hulion suggest include:

•Use an audible alarm, not just a silent alarm that rings at a monitoring company.

•Follow the "2-6 rule," meaning, "No shrubs over 2 feet tall and keep your trees trimmed up to 6 feet off the ground," Hulion said. "That way you take out a thief's hiding spaces."

•Ensure there is adequate outside lighting.

Hulion said no security system and safety precautions are foolproof, but following Crestview crime prevention specialists' recommendations can make homes and businesses more secure.

"If someone wants to get in there, he's going to get in," she said. "What you can do is make it harder for him."