Before defining the what, we need to define the why. Does Hidden Valley have a crime or vandalism problem? No, but do we want to provide the bad guys that opportunity? Do we have law enforcement in place? Yes, but their area of responsibility is very large. Those who would seek to do damage know and will exploit this fact. Law enforcement is most often reactive and not proactive. They get the call after the incident has occurred. Neighborhood Watch can become the proactive and preventative element by providing them extra eyes and ears. As good as our Deputies are they need your help.
Neighborhood Watch is a community based crime prevention program that stresses both education and common sense. While the primary function of the program is teaching how to identify and report crime and suspicious activity in the neighborhood, it also provides an opportunity for social interaction. When properly implemented and active it will make the neighborhood safer and improve the quality of life.
See Something, Say Something
Most Watch programs focus on observation and awareness as a way to prevent crime by simply watching out for each other. The ‘See Something, Say Something’ approach. Some communities prefer a more aggressive approach, Echoes such as Citizens On Patrol where the trained citizens supplement law enforcement.
The needed level of involvement is determined by the neighborhood and in conjunction with local law enforcement. Most Neighborhood Watch programs are located in communities just like Hidden Valley. These communities contain a high percentage of single family homes with little or no commercial development. If we join together we can make a difference, a big difference.
What Does It Take?
What does it take to be an effective program? The simple answer is you and your commitment to making it work. Volunteers who are willing to donate time to organize their “block” or neighborhood into a cohesive unit, willing to talk to their neighbors and get them involved, and willing to work with local law enforcement and community leaders. An additional benefit is reestablishing a sense of neighborhood through social interaction. It takes this collective action to make it work. The more eyes involved the more we will decreases opportunities for criminals or vandals to commit crimes. It may not change their behavior or motivation but they will think twice if they know they are being watched.
Together We Can Make It Work
The program is about keeping you, your family and the community safe and secure. We can make it work. We just need your commitment and involvement. If you feel this is something you should give some of your time to, please consider coming to our next Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the POA building, first floor conference room.
HVL Safety, Security & Elections Committee