SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Summer is around the corner, and it’s that time of year again to get the pools open, plants in the ground and spruce up the yard.

It’s also a good time to learn from Syracuse Police how to design a yard to keep criminals away from your home. NewsChannel 9’s Christie Casciano spoke to Syracuse Police Lieutenant, Matt Malinowski about how your yard can keep criminals away.

An amazing transformation can be seen of this empty lot near skunk city. This is what it looked like before — overgrowth, garbage, cut throughs, constant drug deals and shootings — and after Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) took it over.

Lt. Malinowski said the Syracuse Police Department cut crime here. Syracuse police, fire, codes, DPW and parks teamed up, tackling trash and troubles.

“The thing is, when people are breaking the law, they don’t want to be seen, so one of the main elements of CPTED is increasing visibility, and the basis is, criminals don’t want to be out in the open,” said Lt. Malinowski

From CPTED’s safety playbook, you too can fix up your home and property.

“A lot of what people do is make sure their landscape is to the proper height. So when it comes to your hedges, remember the three by seven rule. No higher than three feet,” said Lt. Malinowski.

That means tree limbs trimmed, so they don’t fall below seven feet, making it harder for burglars to turn your home, into a target.

CPTED is happening along the Onondaga Creekwalk and 14 other spots around the City of Syracuse.