Neighbors for Neighbors: Block Captains wanted for Neighborhood Watch Program

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The purpose of the Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program is to help forge bonds among the residents in the community, reduce crime and improve relations between police and the community. When neighbors begin working together to report crime, the quality of life in the neighborhood increases, crime decreases, and you build a stronger, safer community.

Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that enlists the active participation of residents in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime in their communities. It involves neighbors getting to know each other and working together in a program of mutual assistance.

Members meet their neighbors and watch out for each other, and learn how to make their neighborhoods safer and their homes more secure. They report activity to the police that raises their suspicions.

Neighborhood Watch also helps to build pride and relationships among the members of the community.

Why Neighborhood Watch?
It works. It is also one of the least costly and most effective ways to prevent crime and reduce fear, and provides the opportunity for direct protection in our neighborhoods. Throughout the country, dramatic decreases in burglary and related offenses are reported by law enforcement in communities with active Neighborhood Watch Programs.

Major Components of Neighborhood Watch

• Neighborhood Meetings – These meetings are crucial to keeping the Neighborhood Watch Program going and growing, and keeping members informed about crime issues in their neighborhood. The Neighborhood Watch Block Captain facilitates the neighborhood group meetings approximately three to four times per year. Groups are encouraged to invite guest speakers, such as  police officers, crime prevention officers and home security specialists, to attend their neighborhood meetings.
• Communications – The communication between the neighborhood group can be as simple as fliers, e-mails, text messages or newsletters that update the neighbors on the progress of the program and what is happening in their neighborhood. However, the way each group communicates is not as important as just making the effort to share information about what is happening in the neighborhood and letting the police know when something or someone is out of place.

• Special Events – These are also crucial to keeping the program going and growing, and serve as opportunities to keep neighbors connected. A united neighborhood experiences fewer crime problems. These special events can include block parties, barbecues, holiday parties, volleyball games, beach cleanups or any other event that will bring the neighborhood group together.

Responsibilities as a Neighborhood Watch Member

Be alert!

Know your neighbors and watch out for each other.

Report suspicious activities and crimes to the police.

Attend your Neighborhood Watch meetings.

Learn how you can make yourself and community safer.

Responsibilities of Block Captains

Serve as the spokesperson for your neighborhood group.

Serve as the liaison between the Police Department and your neighborhood group by attending a city wide Block Captain meeting two to three times per year where information and discussion will be provided for you to take back to your neighborhood group.

Organize two to four Neighborhood Watch meetings per year for your neighborhood group.

Maintain a master list of all members in your neighborhood group.

Instruct members on their responsibilities as a Neighborhood Watch member.

Distribute informational material to the members of your neighborhood group.

Areas of Canyon Lake that currently have a Block Captain:

Fair Weather Dr., water side

End of Continental Dr.

Pin Tail Dr. and part of Village Way Dr.

Wood Duck Pl.

Longhorn Dr., near the Equestrian Center

Bronc Ct.

Mayflower Dr.

Canyon Lake Dr. North, Spray Dr. and Clear Water Dr.

Vacation Dr., between Klamath Ct. and Gold Rush Pl.

Appaloosa Ct.

Boat Haven Dr.

Vacation Dr. and Canyon Lake Dr.

Emperor Dr.

Gray Fox Dr., from Blue Bird Dr. to Roadrunner Park

The majority of the Block Captains have already held their first neighborhood meeting. All Block Captains are expected to have had their first neighborhood meeting before the second city wide Block Captain meeting in February with Lt. Earl Quinta and Community Service Officer Nina Zalunardo of the Riverside Police Department.

Key Partnerships

The partnership and communication between the Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program and the Riverside Sheriff’s Department is an important component to ensuring the success of the Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program.

The Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program is the only Neighborhood Watch Program in Canyon Lake that is associated with the National Neighborhood Watch Association and supported by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. The program is not affiliated with any other Canyon Lake Watch or Facebook group.

Block Captains are Needed
The Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program was formed in November 2014. Currently, there are 15 Block Captains. While this is an exceptional amount of Block Captains for a new Watch Program, additional Block Captains are need to help reach the goal of 50 Block Captains throughout the Canyon Lake community.

If you are interested in volunteering as Block Captain or would like more information about the Canyon Lake Watch Program, please e-mail canyonlakecommunity@yahoo.com

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