(Victorville)–The City of Victorville recently attended the National Night Out at Hook Park and promoted their Neighborhood Watch Program. There are currently approximately 35 Neighborhood Watch groups in the city, and this event provided an opportunity for residents to learn more about keeping their community safe.
Karen Hunt, Crime Prevention Officer with the Victorville Police Department, explained, “People in our community are even more aware of crime problems. And when they search for possible solutions, we want to let them know that Neighborhood Watch is definitely a solution that works.”
Neighborhood Watch groups work because neighbors know when something seems out of place in their neighborhood. The Crime Prevention team teaches residents in these groups what to look for, how to report it, and who to report it to. Hunt said, “We have had many residential burglaries that have been stopped because neighbors that were paying attention called it in, gave us good descriptions, and pointed us in the direction that the suspects ran. We were able to get some or most of the property back to the victim and get the suspects in custody, all because people were paying attention. So it is a really good tool.”
The Neighborhood Watch groups are encouraged to meet once a month, but can be flexible to meet the needs of everyone in the group. The group has direct contact with Hunt through e-mails and phone calls. “I have all of my Neighborhood Watch captains on an e-mail list and any time we have a new law or a new code that goes into effect that could possibly affect them, I let them know about it,” said Hunt.
“If they get questions or concerns at a meeting they e-mail me right afterward. I can get them an answer that they can share in the next meeting. And if it’s something much more in depth then we can look at getting myself or possibly a deputy to go out to the meeting to help them address whatever kind of concerns they’re having.”
Occasionally Hunt or another speaker will go to meetings and give a presentation. Recently Hunt had several questions about how to deal with animal control, so she addressed that issue with her Neighborhood Watch captains. Around the holidays she gives a presentation on safety and awareness when unloading all of your Christmas packages from your car.
If you live in the city limits of Victorville and are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group, call Karen Hunt at 760-241-1841.
You can also go to their website www.victorvillepd.org and have a packet to sent to you to get started.