A McGruff House is a temporary haven for children who find themselves in emergency or frightening situations such as being bullied, followed, or hurt while walking in a neighborhood.
A McGruff House provides a sense of security and a source of emergency aid. It is not an escort service or a guarantee of safety but rather a place for appropriate short-term help by an adult for a child. An effective McGruff House Program demonstrates that the community accepts a shared responsibility to watch out and help out on behalf of all its children.
WHAT DOES A McGRUFF HOUSE PARTICIPANT DO?
An individual who volunteers as a McGruff House participant agrees to provide the following types of emergency assistance for children as they go to and from school and are at play in the area:
ü Telephone appropriate authorities for help;
ü Reassure and aid children who are frightened or lost;
ü Assist children who have medical emergencies by obtaining appropriate attention;
ü Assist those who are in immediate fear of becoming victims of personal crime or thefts, child abuse, gangs, or bullies; and
ü Report crimes and suspicious activities to law enforcement officials and provide descriptions of vehicles and suspects when possible.
THE McGRUFF HOUSE PARTICIPANT DOES NOT X:
X Personally provide first aid or administer medications, except in extreme emergency situations and then only if qualified;
X Act as an escort service;
X Assume the role of neighborhood supervisor;
X Enforce laws;
X Provide toilet facilities;
X Provide a place to “warm up” or “cool down”;
X Provide food or beverages; or
X Guarantee safety.
WHY McGRUFF HOUSE?
What makes McGruff House different from other block parent programs?
¨ First, McGruff the Crime Dog. The House displays a symbol - McGruff, the trench-coated spokesdog for crime prevention - recognized by 99% of America’s children because they’ve seen him on television, in print, or because he has visited their school. One in five U.S. families moves yearly; using a symbol recognized nationwide makes sense.
¨ Second, the McGruff House Program is designed to help children. Recognizing that it is impossible in any program to protect against all contingencies, reasonable precautions have been designed into the McGruff House Program to determine the integrity of those volunteers who participate. Adults who volunteer their homes agree to law-enforcement records checks. The distribution of McGruff House signs is strictly controlled. Each numbered sign is released only after all screening procedures are completed and the applicant is approved.
¨ Third, McGruff House is a locally operated program. It is a service provided by the community for the well-being of children and represents a cooperative effort. The partners must include local law enforcement, a school or school system, and a community organization (such as PTA/PTO, Neighborhood Watch, civic association). It can and should be tailored to local needs and conditions within the basic framework.
¨ Fourth, McGruff House is a nationwide program that represents a partnership among local communities, state governments, and a national organization. This partnership enables communities to benefit form the credibility and visibility of the national effort and to join with other communities in implementing a program with consistent standards, guidelines, and safeguards.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDINGWAUWATOSA’S McGRUFF HOUSE PROGRAM…CONTACT:
Community Support Secretary Laura Laurishke
Wauwatosa Police Department
1700 North 116th Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 471-8430 Ext. 5111