Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Neighborhood Watch Thrives in Land Park

Neighborhood Watch Thrives in Land Park
By Dave O’Toole from the LPCA Fall Newsletter

If you’re wondering why you’re seeing more bright orange
street signs and window stickers warning “We’re Watching
You” around the neighborhood, the reason is that many
neighbors have decided to assert control of their block’s
safety by setting up neighborhood watch groups. A rash
of bogus door-to-door solicitations, brazen home burglaries,
and other crimes have prompted many neighbors to
organize their block by posting signs, setting up phone and
e-mail trees, and meeting occasionally to discuss and respond
to recent crime events.

One neighborhood watch pioneer is Marty Way resident
and founder of Uptown Liz, Ramona Russell, who got her
neighborhood watch started when her block experienced
an unusual uptick in crime including an incident in which she
was approached in her own driveway by individuals who
appeared to be under the influence. Russell recalls, “feeling
like a ‘sitting duck’ in my own neighborhood — where I lived,
worked and ran every day.” Russell also set up a phone and
e-mail contact list and sent out e-mails whenever a crime or
suspicious activity occurred. “This constant communication
has kept the group active and involved,” she said.

Newly empowered neighbors began actively reporting suspicious
activity through the police non-emergency line [(916)
264-5471] which led to a rapid, overwhelming response
when two young men were spotted attempting to break
into a house. When police were asked about the force of
their response, Russell reports, “they said there were notations
on our neighborhood of the past problems we have

Russell is just one of several neighbors who’ve started or restarted
a neighborhood watch program this year. To get one
going on your block, contact Dave O’Toole at davotoole@ or call 346-9045. He’ll provide all of the informationand materials needed, like signs, stickers, and a Vic’s Ice
Cream certificate (for meeting refreshments). A few hours of
your time will have a lasting impact on your block.

In addition to starting neighborhood watch, here are a number
of additional ways neighbors can get engaged in making
Land Park a safer community:
• Learn about recent crime events, suggest solutions,
and discuss issues with public safety professionals(e.g., Sacramento Police Department, Paladin Security)
by attending a Public Safety Committee meeting.
The committee meets on the second Tuesday of every
month at 7 p.m. at the Eskaton Monroe facility (3225
Freeport Boulevard).
• Join the LPCA Public Safety Listserv to share crime
and safety tips and learn what’s happening crime-wise
in the neighborhood. Email to
• And of course, always report crimes in progress (911
or 732-0100 from your cell phone), report crimes after
they’ve occurred (264-5471 or
fileonline) and immediately alert the police to ANY
suspicious activity (264-5471). If you see something,
say something.

Residents are encouraged to attend the LPCA Board Meetings 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. the 3rd Wednesday of every month at the Eskaton Monroe Lodge located at 3225 Freeport Boulevard. In addition, the LPCA hosts quarterly Membership Meetings to address important neighborhood issues.

The Land Park Safety Listserv is an email “conversation area” where you can share information about crime and safety-related issues with neighbors who want to talk about the same. Email to request to be added to the list. You must be a LPCA member to join.
The guidelines for the LPCA Public Safety Listserv can be found here

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