By Sarita Gardner
A neighborhood watch is based on the concept of community. Knowing and caring about your neighbors is crucial in burglary prevention. If you care you are going to be more observant and want to problem-solve. Accurate descriptions and speedy reporting of suspicious activities and people to your neighbors and police is going to be key.
Our first SFSAFE Neighborhood Watch Communication Meeting kicked off Wednesday, April 27th. We had a good turnout of about 13 volunteers for new block captains! We started by some of us sharing our own personal experiences. Richard walked in on his burglar still in the act in broad daylight and came just about face to face with him! He caught the getaway car’s plate numbers and a neighbor actually followed them by vehicle for some distance. We learned that if you find your door broken into, don’t go inside right away! Call the police and they will bring in a canine unit to sniff out any remaining bad guys. Julie’s family was robbed during the night as they were asleep in their beds! The burglars were familiar with the house and came in through the garage door. Home Depot has images captured of someone buying paints using their credit card. We found out through her experience that HD could only release info and data to police. Experiences were shared and lessons were learned.
Our facilitator, Irina Chatsova pointed out anyone can request the services of SFSAFE online at http://sfsafe.org/request-services fill it out, press submit, review, then press confirm.
Sometime end of June we will have our second meeting with our local enforcement and a third meeting will be to learn how to work with our District Attorney representative and how to write to judges in hopes of getting criminals prosecuted. We are off to a good start! Your block captain (if you have one) is tasked with creating a Block Map and Communication Tree, so don’t be surprised if a neighbor comes knocking on your door or if you find a home made flier/ invitation, they are just trying to get to know you and help you. Because that is what it really needs to comes down to; knowing and caring about your neighbors and owning your neighborhood!