I want to remind everyone in our community how easy Neighborhood Watch groups are to form. These groups are beneficial to the block and the overall community and help our officers keep you safer. Here’s how to get one started:
1) Contact Steve Sink, APD Crime Prevention Manager, at 244-6644 to get a Starter Kit and answer a few questions.
2) Once you complete and return the Starter Kit, I’ll be your contact/Crime Prevention Specialist for the Foothills Area Command.
3) I will book a Neighborhood Watch Facilitation Meeting for your watch group, hosted on the block, and at the meeting I will: talk to you and your neighbors about the program, crime prevention and bring you lots of great information to take home. I will also bring along an officer who patrols your block, so you can get to know our team.
4) At the Neighborhood Watch Facilitation Meeting we have to have these 2 requirements met: At least 50% of the homes on the block in attendance and elect a Block Captain.
A little bit about the Block Captain: Don’t let the Block Captain title scare you! The Block Captain serves as the point of contact for the members and APD Crime Prevention and collects the money to purchase the Neighborhood Watch signage for the block. This is not about forming patrols, being bossy or riding herd over your neighbors! It is being a good neighbor and the contact person. Block Captains are elected by the group or a resident at the meeting can step up and volunteer to be a Block Captain. You can share duties and co-Captain, but I need just 1 contact person in that role for your group.
5) Once the group has fulfilled the requirements listed above, you are good to go as an APD Crime Prevention recognized Neighborhood Watch group.
All we ask is that you have a few social functions a year to stay connected and if the Block Captain changes to let me know.
Your role is to be willing to report suspicious or criminal behavior to 242-COPS from a place where you are safe and to stay in contact with each other and APD Crime Prevention.
The benefits are great: united neighborhoods block-by-block, free training on crime prevention, meeting your local police officer(s), building unity. We also encourage groups to participate in National Night Out and Block Captains are invited to join the Albuquerque Block Captain Association and attend ABCA’s two free conferences a year.
Why not form a Neighborhood Watch this year? Take a pro-active step to partner with APD and make your community a better place. Call Steve for a Starter Kit at 244-6644.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist, APD/Foothills Area Command