#abq4ward: Police, communities partner for Neighborhood Watch programs
August 01, 2017 07:09 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- While the Albuquerque Police Department remains short-staffed, crime prevention specialists encourage residents to take their own preventative measures.
Neighborhood Watches are popping up all over Albuquerque, and it only takes one dedicated neighbor to get it started.
"There's no real commitment to the Neighborhood Watch other than to say that you'll watch out for each other," said Eric Jackson, block captain of his Neighborhood Watch in northwest Albuquerque.
Jackson took the lead in starting his Neighborhood Watch about three years ago.
"We had a home break in that devastated the family and that kind of riled the neighborhood up and got us thinking about, you know what can we do?"
To get it started, Jackson contacted the Albuquerque Crime Prevention Office. After making the call, they’ll send out a "starter packet" that will include information and forms. One of them requires that person to go around their neighborhood gathering names, addresses and phone numbers.
"We don't give this information to anyone else," said Jackson. "It's just for neighbors to be in touch with neighbors."
Once the Crime Prevention Office gets that list, a CP specialist will set up a date and time for the neighborhood’s first meeting. At least 50 percent of the homes on the block must be represented to make it official. The CP specialist will then help the group choose a block captain.
"We serve as the contact person for the neighborhood," Jackson said.
After that, the block captain can order "Neighborhoods Organized Against Crime" street signs. Jackson feels those signs alone are a huge deterrent against crime.
"If you come on to our street, we're watching," Jackson said.
The official Neighborhood Watch designation also means the block can formally participate in National Night Out celebrations the first Tuesday of every August.
To get more information on starting a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, call APD’s Crime Prevention Office at (505) 244-6644.
Updated: August 01, 2017 07:09 PM
Created: August 01, 2017 02:17 PM
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