BlockWatch

BlockWatch

Wilshire Heights Blockwatch

Our neighbors have joined together in preventing and fighting crime through Blockwatch efforts. We work in partnership with the Columbus Division of Police.

What is a “Blockwatch?”

Neighborhood Blockwatch has proven itself as one of the most effective ways for citizens to get involved in the fight against crime. The fact is, the police alone cannot control crime; they need the help of an alert and concerned public. Safe streets and neighborhoods are everyone’s concern and Neighborhood Blockwatch provides a means for everyone to be responsibly involved in the fight against crime.

How does it work?

Blockwatch established a formal network for citizens to exchange ideas and information with their neighbors and with the police. Residents learn how to become the extended eyes and ears of the police, reporting on suspicious or unusual activity in their communities and forwarding that information to the proper authorities. Participants of a Blockwatch also learn the best techniques for securing their homes and property, along with tips on personal safety for themselves and their families when shopping, traveling and engaging in other activities away from home.

Under no circumstances are Blockwatch participants asked to perform law enforcement duties. That is the job of the police. There are no Blockwatch tasks that would put anyone at risk. Most Blockwatch duties are performed in the course of everyday activities around the neighborhood. Being a Blockwatch participant does not detract from working schedules of leisure time.

How can a “Blockwatch” help me?

In Columbus and elsewhere, studies have shown that citizens and law enforcement officers working together can have a positive impact on the crime rate. Blockwatch is the best way for everyone to get involved. However, for the Blockwatch to stay effective, the participants must be committed to making it work.

How do I get involved?

It’s as easy as saying yes when a Blockwatch member, captain or coordinator asks if you’d like to become a member. Your name will be added to a phone tree or contact list so that you can be contacted quickly if needed. A good way to become involved is to attend one of our periodic meetings and to get to know your immediate neighbors.

Meeting topics are flexible, depending on the needs of the neighborhood. Topics may include home security, burglary prevention, use of 911, other police phone numbers, personal safety and street crimes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don’t think there’s much crime in our neighborhood. Why do we need a Blockwatch?

A: The fact that many neighborhoods are virtually crime-free does not make them immune. Criminal activity knows no geographical boundary. It should be stressed that every successful Blockwatch, regardless of the crime rate, requires involved, interested, and committed participants.

Q: I don’t like to go to a lot of meetings. Can I still be a Blockwatch participant?

A: Yes. We have occasional meetings to help keep our members active and interested. The most important way you can participate is by knowing your neighbors and recognizing suspicious activity.

Q: Who conducts the meetings?

A: Blockwatch meetings are conducted by community liaison officers and community trainers who are well trained in crime prevention techniques, organizational skills and community leadership. Volunteers are needed to help the program move in the right direction.

Q: Won’t the Blockwatch program just result in a lot of frivolous and unnecessary calls to the police?

A: No. Remember that you are the best one to judge whether something is normal or not normal in your neighborhood. Even if your call turns out to be a false alarm, it is better to let trained police officers make that determination. Of course, as a Blockwatch participant, you will receive instruction on what constitutes a true emergency as opposed to something that simply needs routine police attention. Blockwatch participants receive information on the proper use of the 911 system for real emergency situations.

Q: Who do I call to get started?

A: Contact any Wilshire Heights Blockwatch member, your Blockwatch captain, or Kathy Hoke, coordinator of Wilshire Heights Blockwatch. kathyhoke@gmail.com

Q: Who is our liaison with the Columbus police?

A: The community liaison for the 10 th Precinct is currently changing. The department can be reached by voice mail at (614) 645-1419.

Q: How do I find out about recent criminal activity in my neighborhood?

A: You can read recent crime reports at www.columbuspolice.org. Look for “Offense reports” in the left navigation. Our neighborhood is in Zone 3, Precinct 10, Cruiser District 106.

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