Neighborhood HOA Crime Watch
Are you like me? You see something in the neighborhood that just doesn’t look quite right – a car traveling slowly up and down the streets, a person in your neighbor’s yard who just doesn’t seem to belong there, someone peeking in windows, a car parked in one place for a long time with a man sitting alone inside, etc. – and you are mildly concerned, but you don’t want to get all dramatic and “bother” the police with what might be nothing!
Well, guess what I learned at the Crime Watch meeting? The police would rather be “bothered” and find out it’s nothing, than not be “bothered” and find out it was something! It’s their job to check out suspicious activity, and they are glad to do it.
Sergeant Gerry Hepp of the Fishers Police Department gave us some eye-opening information and tips about how important it can be for us to be alert and watchful in our neighborhood. We might be able to not only prevent a crime, but perhaps be very helpful in apprehending someone who has already committed a crime, either here or somewhere nearby.
He shared some fascinating stories about crime, vandalism, security tips and some ways to tell when something is serious and when it probably isn’t, and he showed us an interesting video that had even more tips that are helpful. It never occurred to me before that if I happen to get up during the night, I might want to glance out of my windows and just see if there’s any suspicious activity in or around my own house or my neighbor’s home. There probably won’t be, but if there is, reporting it might save someone a lot of heartache!
How about if you notice your neighbor’s garage door is open (especially at night) and they don’t usually leave it open? How about if your own garage door is open and you don’t know it!? Can someone contact you? Do you know enough people around you who might be alert to your habits and patterns? What if you’re driving down the street and you see somebody’s front door standing open – especially in the colder months – should you react? Yes! Don’t go in. Call the police so they can check. They are discreet and polite, and it’s called a “security check” or a “welfare check.”
There are 235 homes in Spyglass Falls, and to have a successful Crime Watch program, we would ideally need about 23 or 24 “block captains” to oversee about ten homes each. That doesn’t mean you have to sit by your window all day (or all night) and watch for suspicious activity. What it does mean is that the Police Department can give us regular alerts and educational information that can then be passed on by the block captains to the homes they oversee. This can be done by phone or email.
If we could gather enough email addresses, we wouldn’t even need block captains – we could do all the information sharing through cyberspace. In our neighborhood of 235 homes, I only have 55 email addresses! If you will trust me with your email address, I promise not to allow its use outside of the Crime Watch program or the HOA newsletter service or notification process. When information is sent out by email, it will be sent “blind.” That means the recipients email addresses will not show up on the email so they cannot be seen or copied by anybody else.
I think we are all interested in preventing crime and vandalism, but the police aren’t psychic, and they can’t be everywhere at once. If we are properly educated and committed, we can be invaluable in helping them do their jobs. We’ll all be safer and happier for the effort!
You can reach me at 845-5220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can reach Sergeant Hepp at email@example.com.
Do you want to include your neighborhood information in the atFishers Community Newsletter? Just add a new TownePost with your neighborhood news, information, or article and we’ll publish it for free. Get rid of the headaches, time and cost of mailing your own neighborhood newsletter – we’ll do it for you!
You can also make a webpage for your neighborhood in the Towne Directory. Just sign-up and click “new listing” in the Neighborhoods category. Tell your neighbors about it and the entire neighborhood can stay informed on the latest events, reminders, and even download the Covenants and Restrictions.