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Neighborhood Members Following Vehicles / Persons: How to Handle the Situation

I received multiple emails this morning from the weekend about citizens with good intentions who are putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation by following vehciles / persons they deem to be suspicious in their neighborhoods.  The APD Crime Prevention unit has always recommended that if you see a person or vehicle on your block that appears to be suspicious or conducting ‘casing’ activity to call 242-COPS (2677) and provide the operator the best description you can while calling from a place where you are safe.  We (APD) do not recommend following vehicles for miles, photographing people in vehicles or confronting or chasing people.  We need your extra eyes on the block to report and then notify 242-COPS and then your Block Captain so the BC can let the people on the block know and the Area Command’s Crime Prevention Specialist.  We want you to be safe and not put yourself in a dangerous situation.  Let the police officer who is dispatched handle the call.

If you decide to post photos of persons, vehicles, license plates, etc on nextdoor.com or your other web sites for your neighborhoods, please remember those websites are not affiliated with the Albuquerque Police Department and those postings could be a liability to your organization if you wrongfully accuse a person of a crime or of being a criminal.

APD Crime Prevention wants citizens to be involved, to help our communities and police department by reporting criminal or suspicious activity from a safe place and we do not want you in a situation where you could be hurt.  Safety comes first!

The APD web site at www.cabq.gov/police has information on how to form Neighborhood Watch groups and you can find more information in the Crime Prevention section on how to be safe and help our officers keep communities safer.

Thank you for being involved and pro-active and using APD Crime Prevention tips to reduce your odds of being a victim.