Notes: November RCPC Town Hall on Neighborhood Watch Groups

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We hope November's RCPC Town Hall spurs you to action! The audience heard a panel of local residents who are part of active Neighborhood Watch groups and other public safety efforts share ideas about how Rockridge neighbors can make our streets safer. The discussion was moderated by Rockridge resident Allie Rasmus of KTVU News, panelists included David Lorie, Andy Young, Frank Castro, and Don Link. OPD's Capt. Anthony Toribio and Lt. Chris Bolton and Neighborhood Services Coordinator Patricia Rose were also present to answer questions. Here were the primary "takeaways":

What matters most of all is simply getting to know your neighbors and being able to reach each other easily if needed (individually or as a group). You can register as a Neighborhood Watch group or not: this is up to your group.

To start a Neighborhood Watch group or learn more about them, call Neighborhood Services Coordinator Patricia Rose: 510/238-6822 (prose@oaklandnet.com).

Essential steps:

  • Get as many neighbors to participate as you can (whatever number that is);
  • Collect e-mail addresses and create a shared list everyone has access to and create a phone tree (in case cells and e-mail are down and you need to share information quickly); and
  • Get together periodically to get to know each other Ð a few times a year is great. Some groups only meet once a year and say that works.

Best advice of the night: DON'T get together to discuss crime. When crime rates fall, so will your group's motivation to stay active. Instead, get together to talk about... anything you want. Disaster preparedness? Volunteering as a group? How to make your street prettier? The Oscars? Have fun - seriously. Make sure there is lots of dessert...

A Final Thought: If you already are part of an organized neighborhood group or are starting one, please e-mail info@rockridge.org to let us know: the RCPC Public Safety Working Group wants to track actions we take as neighbors or community-wide to discourage criminal activity.

If you can help us collect data on Rockridge's response to see if we can correlate it with improved results, e-mail us at info@rockridge.org.