An incident that recently took place showed how a Neighborhood Watch program can make a neighborhood safer for all and not just fight crime.
Here’s what happened:
The Scene: Kilmary Lane – a short cul de sac at the top of Old Phillips Road.
The Time: Friday night, May 18 at 10:00 PM – a dark and cold night.
The Players: A strange male sitting on the curb and loitering in front of a home on Kilmary Lane; an alert homeowner who is a member of the Neighborhood Watch Team.
The Action: When the homeowner saw the man loitering for an extended period of time with no apparent purpose, she called her neighbors to alert them. She then called the Glendale Police Department using the number she’d been given by the Neighborhood Watch Team “captain”.
The Police Response: Within about five minutes the Glendale Police Department had a helicopter over Kilmary Lane and two police cars on the street. The police took the man into custody.
The Follow Up: By 11:00 pm that night, the Neighborhood Watch Team Captain sent an e-mail to Officer Sue Shine of the Glendale Police Department asking for any information about the incident. Officer Shine is our contact in the Police Department relating to our Neighborhood Watch program. Even though Officer Shine was off duty at the time, she responded at 6:35 AM on Saturday with the following message.
Since I am not at work today, I had to call the Watch Sergeant who was able to look up the call. It turns out that the gentleman you had wandering on your street had walked away from a mental health facility. How he got all the way up there is a mystery, but thanks to your call, we got him back where he would be safe.
So a win-win for the neighborhood, for the unfortunate soul who’d wandered away from a mental facility but was safely returned, and for his family. And kudos to the Glendale Police Department for its very prompt response and quick community follow up.
How Did This Happen: The Royal Canyon Property Owners Association, in cooperation with the Glendale Police Department, has been working to implement a Neighborhood Watch program in our area. The concept is simple: Designated blocks or neighborhoods comprise a team headed by a team captain. The team captain makes sure that all residents within the team’s area have contact information (ideally email addresses as well as phone numbers) for all their neighbors. If anyone sees something or someone suspicious, he or she can alert everyone on the team as well as make a report to the police. There are several such teams already in place in the Royal Canyon Property Owners Association area. We would like to expand the program so that we eventually have at least a dozen such teams in the area.
Our thanks go to the residents and RCPOA members who have volunteered to be team captains on their blocks. More are needed. It you want to volunteer to be a team captain for your block, email Leanne Reynolds at email@example.com or call her at 818-731-9300.