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October 16, 2012 > Neighbor Crime Watch

Neighbor Crime Watch

By Denny Stein

It seems that the real world has come to Fremont and its neighboring cities. Crime is on the rise, particularly home burglaries and auto thefts. One of the ways to protect yourself, against these and other losses, is to get to know and trust your neighbors. The police department tells us that many eyes are one of the best deterrents to crime.

Karen Blount, of Fremont's Police Community Crime Prevention department, is the Community Engagement Specialist for Neighborhood Crime Watch. Last week a meeting of Niles 2nd Street residents and friends found out how to set up a Neighborhood Crime Watch group. Officer Blount was incredibly knowledgeable, supportive and can assist residents who decide to come together to protect themselves and each other.

A Neighborhood Crime Watch group consists of the residents of one, sometimes two, blocks in a neighborhood. The group stays small so that they can become familiar with each other's families, pets and habits. In this way, not only do neighbors become friends but they are very aware when something is not right on their home turf. What is suspicious activity? When should I call the police? When should I just call my neighbor? What number should I call? All these questions are answered in the initial group meeting.

It's easy to set up the group. Gather as many of your neighbors as possible for the organizational meeting with Officer Blount and her intrepid sidekicks, members of the CARE Volunteers. Sign up, elect or appoint a "captain" and the Fremont PD will provide a sign or two, support, and an instruction sheet with all the numbers you might need to contact law enforcement.

Officer Blount and the CARE volunteers had many crime prevention tips, ranging from never leaving your purse in the car to never opening the door to anyone you don't know, plant thorny bushes along your fence perimeter, and install motion sensor lights. And did you know - you can buy an electronic motion sensor barking dog?!

Better than good fences, a Neighborhood Crime Watch group makes for good neighbors, safe neighbors, and peace of mind. For more information, contact Karen Blount by phone 510-790-6689, or email kblount@fremont.gov.

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