Summer Burglaries and the Neighborhood Watch
This summer has been a bit turbulent in terms of break-ins and car thefts, with a high spike in July. I heard about home burglaries almost daily and when I went on the crime timeline on http://crime.latimes.com/ the yellow dots sprinkled over the map and the timeline gave me a confirmation of what was happening. Around the same time a resident posted a video of a get-away van that was speeding off after a break-in on the MWA Facebook page. Eric had caught a good shot of the vehicle with his surveillance cameras and his street felt it was time to organize a Neighborhood Watch. So did many other streets on Mount Washington. What does it entail to start a Neighborhood Watch?
Define the neighborhood. Determine the area your Watch group will cover. Keep in mind that the bigger the area, the bigger the group will be. That means you will need a larger space for meetings, more materials for flyers, more time to organize, etc.
Secure a meeting spot. If your Watch only covers your street, meetings can probably be held in a private home. If your area is much bigger, you can consider meeting at the Carlin G. Smith Recreation Center.
Recruit neighbors and stay active. Get to know your neighbors and help each other look out for possible trouble. You may find many new friends among the residents of your street and neighborhood. I know I have and it has added so much to my life. It’s all about keeping in touch and keeping the contact information current. Set up a yearly meeting to receive new tips and updates from the police department.
Get help from your SLO (Senior Lead Officer). Officer Preciado (213) 793 0761 and Officer Rey (213) 793 0758 are our local contacts. Also go online at www.lapdonline.org to get detailed information about Neighborhood Watch and check out their crime watch map as well.