Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get real about preventing crime. You'll find crime prevention suggestions throughout the "Nutshells" section and in "You and Yours." You may also discover a crime prevention group you like while cruising the mega-sites listed in "On the Web."

To plan your course of action, ask yourself if you prefer working alone, with others, or for others. Also, political work is work, so figure out what you need to make it "pay." Do you need to feel alive ? If so, you might be happier mentoring an at-risk kid than stuffing envelopes. Do you need to feel respected ? Rather than hang out with a bunch of squabbling politicos you may want to team up with a good friend or two and fire off monthly opinion letters to your congresspeople. Is your time tight? You can do volunteer stints in well-organized programs or groups. No time? No problem: You can still vote—and you can always give money. Just be sure you give each organization more than it costs them to hound you for your next donation!

So take a look at some of the options below and make a plan. Then, with your sense of humor loaded, cocked and at the ready, start walkin'.

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