Tuesday, April 14, 2015

• Neighborhood Watch Meeting

Wildomar had it's first neighborhood watch meeting, it was in the city council chambers. Well, there have been other such meeting in the past, just not in Wildomar. Past meetings had been held at the Sheriff's station in Lake Elsinore. The room was more than 90% full.

Jim Brown has been volunteering for this program the last nine years and called the meeting to order and introduced Officers Salcedo, Baca, Coates and Vega.

From left to right. Officer Coates, Officer Vega, Jim Brown, Officer Baca, Officer Salcedo.
There was a power point presentation dealing with local gangs and drugs. 

A couple of tidbits about tagging I thought I'd pass along:
  • If you suspect that your child might be mixed up in a "tagging crew" check their notebooks. Often they will practice their tags by way of doodling. They may even tag the underside of the brim of their hats. 
  • If witnessed call police dispatch and notify the city.

A look at the 4 neighborhood watch zones in W'mar

The meeting was opened to all, but it was intended for existing block captains. So, from my perspective, it felt a little like showing up in mid November to a class that started back in September. 

After the meeting, which lasted an hour, I went up to officer Salcedo and told him I was expecting some more basic information, things like "How not to be the next George Zimmerman." 

He reminded me that it had been intended for block captains but they also have meetings where the basics are covered too. 

In the end the key bit of info I took away from the meeting was:
"Do not put yourself in harms way!"

Keeping your cars locked and valuables out of sight is important. Though some cars will still be broken into, many low level criminals are happy to just break into unlocked cars. Keeping the doors to your homes locked and your garage door down when unattended helps too.

Use the Non-Emergency number 951-776-1099 to report suspicious activity and NOT the emergency 911 number. If you see something out of place, they want you to call and report it. The example that was given was a skateboarder at 3:00 in the morning. Something you know that is out of place and is causing you concern.

A website to visit is the National Neighborhood Watch site. (Click this link)

This sign in Windsong Valley has been battling
the Sun as much as it has been battling crime.
We've had several Neighborhood Watch signs in our neighborhood since we moved to Wildomar back in 2001. Thing is, other than on a local facebook page last year, I'd never actually heard about any meetings or how it worked.

In the long run you have to remember that this is supposed to be the neighborhood watching itself. So it's unrealistic to expect the city or the police to be the spearheads in such an operation. It's up to those of us on the front lines to put the effort in.

If we don't care, why should anyone else?

The next meeting is scheduled for June 11, 2015. Best way to keep up with knowing when meetings such as this are happening, is to sign up for email alerts from the city's website. (Click this link)

Also mentioned was something called the Nextdoor App that helps keep neighbors in the loop for things going on in their neighborhood. I signed up, but since I still cling to my flip phone, I'll have to access it with my laptop. Take a look at it and see if it makes since for you to create an account. If you have facebook, then it's pretty easy to use that as a gateway to sign in there.

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We live in a world that has narrowed into a neighborhood before it has broadened into a brotherhood.  Lyndon Johnson

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for attending and for the links. I've attended the neighborhood (not captains) meetings before in my neighborhood. Bridgette Moore was one of two neighbors spearheading the effort.


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