Neighborhood Watch group has holiday party together


The residents on Gray Fox Dr. gathered for a Neighborhood Watch Program pot-luck on Saturday afternoon, December 12. The pot-luck was arranged and hosted by John and Sheryl Lewis, the Block Captains for the residents on Gray Fox Dr. The group mixed and mingled before John gave a 15-minute presentation on the crime, safety and security in Canyon Lake.

“John did an excellent job of informing the residents of ways to protect themselves and each other, and of informing them of the current crime issues in Canyon Lake,” says Donna Ritchie, the Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program facilitator who was invited to attend the pot-luck.

“This is what the Neighborhood Watch Program is all about, neighbors getting to know each other better so they can look out for each other. The get-togethers provide an opportunity for the Block Captains to inform residents of the crime in Canyon Lake and on their street,” says Donna.

John and Sheryl Lewis knew very few of their neighbors before they signed up to be the designated Block Captains for their street. Through their participation in the Neighborhood Watch Program, they now know most of the residents on Gray Fox Dr. “The program has provided the opportunity for all our neighbors to get to know each other and help each other out when needed,” says John.

“I know a lot more of my neighbors because of this program. We all know each other by name now, and have a list of each other’s phone number and e-mail address,” says Pei Pei Gunter.

Donna started the city wide Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program with the help of the Riverside Sheriff’s Office in November 2014. Donna says, “The Neighborhood Watch Program provides the opportunity for direct protection in our neighborhoods. 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.”

There are currently 17 Block Captains. “The goal is to have a Block Captain for every street in Canyon Lake. More Block Captains are needed for the program.” says Donna.

The Block Captain responsibilities include:

  • Serving as the spokesperson for your neighborhood group.
  • Serving as the liaison between the Police Department/Community Patrol and your neighborhood group by attending a city wide Block Captain meeting twice a year with other Block Captains and a representative from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.
  • Organizing two to three Neighborhood Watch meetings per year for your neighborhood group.
  • Maintaining a master list of all members of your neighborhood group.
  • Participating in the Canyon Lake Block Captain Facebook page, so that you can communicate and share ideas, information and material with other Block Captains.

If you are interested in being a designated Neighborhood Watch Program Block Captain for your street, please contact Donna Ritchie at