A Great Place To Live

A Great Place To Live

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch

Cooperative community effort is still society’s most effective tool in accomplishing objectives too large for one individual. An isolated individual may have little control over their environment, but in cooperation with others, can accomplish much.

You and your neighbors can prevent crime within your neighborhood and make it a safer, more secure place to live. Even though today’s lifestyles sometimes make it difficult to be as neighborly as we’d like, being a good neighbor is one of the best ways to prevent crime. Neighbors can be your best protection when everyone bands together to look out for each other’s interests.

What is Neighborhood Watch?

The Grandview Police Department’s “Neighborhood Watch” is simply a formal program to facilitate neighbors watching other neighbors’ property, very similar to “Block Watch” programs all around the country. When you are at home, be alert to what’s going on in your neighborhood. A police officer patrolling your community probably will not recognize a stranger in your yard, but your neighbors would. If all neighbors are in contact, it provides a strong safety net.

How Does It Work?

The program works through cooperation – neighbors watching out for neighbors. Neighbors know who you are, and things like what type of car you own. They will be the first to notice a strange vehicle in your driveway or a burglar at your door. Each neighbor can very effectively watch the homes on all four sides of their home. Those neighbors in turn watch the homes around them and eventually the whole neighborhood is linked together.

The Neighborhood Watch program is not about citizen crime watch patrols or vigilante groups. You are only asked to report situations to the police and let them handle it. It is not a good idea to confront any suspicious person(s) or attempt an arrest yourself; your safety could be in jeopardy. We live in a small community and police officers are just a phone call away.

If you do see something suspicious, write down the description of any suspicious persons. Get the make, model, color, and license numbers of strange vehicles. If appropriate, call the police immediately to get them on the way. If you know your neighbors (because you are all part of a Neighborhood Watch program), call them and ask if they are seeing the same suspicious things you are or if they know anything more.

How to Report a Crime:

Law enforcement needs your help reporting crimes. Be alert wherever you are and learn to recognize crime. When you see or hear something that might indicate a criminal act is being committed, don’t hesitate to call the police.

When you are reporting a crime, stay calm and state the problem. Give the address where the emergency is happening. Remember to give the full address and the nearest cross street. Being able to give North/South/East/West directions is a great help.

It is important to be able to describe an offender to police after the offense has occurred. Police need to know things like the suspect’s race, sex, age, height, weight, build, complexion, hair color, clothing, and miscellaneous identifying marks such has tattoos, scars, etc.

Let the police dispatcher control the conversation. Answer all questions to ensure the best response. If you wish to remain anonymous, give your name to the operator, then request anonymity and tell the operator that if the officers need more information, they can call you later. It might seem like the dispatcher is asking a ton of questions and not getting help on the way but rest assured they are trained in how to get the info that officers need to get you help in the fastest manner possible.

If you have a situation where you may need to ensure complete anonymity, you can call the Yakima County Crime Stoppers organization at 1-800-222-Tips(8477). Grandview participates in this program and gets information forwarded to us as needed.

What Else Can You Do?

Exchange work and vacation schedules with neighbors you trust so you can keep an eye on each other’s homes. If you know that your neighbor is away and you see an obvious problem, let them know. Make the effort! Become acquainted with your neighbors. Use motion sensor lights. Put internal lights on timers. Get some type of security camera or doorbell and make sure it is always operational.

How to Develop the Program:

To develop a Neighborhood Watch program, contact the Grandview Police department ([email protected]). They will assist in developing a plan that is right for your neighborhood.