The word “routine” is a word I’m very careful about using. As the public information officer for a police department that employs more than 100 officers, part of my job is to remind others that nothing these officers do is really ever “routine.” You’ll never hear me, for example, describe an officer making a “routine traffic stop” because—statistics prove—traffic stops are among the most dangerous things an officer can do.

So, when I started thinking about bringing the social media hashtag #9PMRoutine to Creek, just using the word “routine” took some getting used to. The #9PMRoutine comes from our friends at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, one of the agencies featured regularly on the popular cable TV show, “Live PD.” The “routine” is essentially this: getting into the habit of making sure your vehicle doors are locked, the doors and windows in your home are locked, and your garage door is secure every night at 9 o’ clock.

In many places, including here in Coconut Creek, vehicle burglaries are one of the prime drivers of crime. In many cases, vehicles are left unlocked, making it easy for thieves to take what they want—cash, credit cards, checkbooks and even firearms. Law enforcement officials in Pasco County wanted to work on reducing those crimes, which would in turn reduce the crime rate, so they came up with the catchy #9PMRoutine.

If you search “#9PMRoutine” on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, dozens of posts will come up from law enforcement agencies all over the country. You’ll also see regular folks posting how they’ve made sure their property is locked up tight for the night using the #9PMRoutine.

Here in Creek, overall crime is down 18 percent for the first half of the year compared to the first half of last year, and vehicle theft cases are down 13 percent during that same time frame. We want to keep it that way, so you’ll be seeing more about the #9PMRoutine on our Facebook page (coconutcreek
policedepartment), Twitter account and Instagram account (@creekfamilypd for both).

You should start tonight. At 9 p.m. make sure your car doors, house doors and windows are locked. Let us know by posting a selfie or a funny GIF and using the hashtags #9PMRoutine and #CreekFamilyPD. Let’s let any social media-savvy thieves know that Creek is locked up for the night.


Scotty Leamon is the public safety information officer for the Coconut Creek Police Department.