Neighbors consider forming Neighborhood Watch group

Neighbors from the northwest quadrant of the neighborhood have been discussing the merits of forming a Neighborhood Watch group.

Discussion has focused on recent crime activity west of 24th Street, including a nighttime assault, thefts from porches near 21st Street, trash illegally dumped in alleys, homeless people entering back yards, drug use in alleys, thefts from car interiors, and people sitting in parked cars for extended periods. Concerns also have been voiced about the perceived slow police response time in some situations.

A number of neighbors met Sept. 6 in the Sierra 2 Garden Room to discuss the potential benefits of forming a Neighborhood Watch group for the area bordered by Second Avenue, 24th Street, Portola Way and 21st Street. Jennifer Jahnsen of Third Avenue led the discussion.

At the meeting, neighbors talked about becoming the “eyes and ears of the police” in the area, trimming bushes so they are not so dense as to make illegal activity invisible from the street, having a dog that barks as the best security system, and posting Neighborhood Watch signs to make criminals know the neighbors are aware of what happens on their street.

Participants were cautioned that the program is not designed for neighbors to take personal risk or directly confront criminal activity.

Residents of Markham Way have assembled a list, shared among themselves, of who lives in each house with contact phone numbers and emails. They notify one another about when they will be away from home so someone watches the house, takes care of pets, and picks up any papers, mail or packages.

Neighborhood Watch advocates encourage the formation of similar groups in other areas of Curtis Park because they feel the entire neighborhood is too large for a single group.

Police say neighbors communicating with and watching out for each other is one of the best crime deterrents.

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