Over the past month, like many people throughout Colorado, I have been glued to the news, waiting for new information on the Jessica Ridgeway case. Sadly, we all know the outcome leaving many asking “what could have been done to save this little girl?” With her killer behind bars, we are all sleeping a little better but it’s a wakeup call for all of us to be a little more vigilant on what is going on in our neighborhoods.
Many homeowner associations have established neighborhood watch groups, with the purpose being to simply observe and report suspicious activity to the local authorities and your neighbors. Earlier this year, we saw a neighborhood watch group go awry with shooting of Trayvon Martin. It’s important to keep the following guidelines in mind if your community is interested in forming a neighborhood watch program.
- A neighborhood watch program should be established with the help of the local law enforcement authorities.
- The program should not be a committee of the Board or be officially connected to the homeowner association in any capacity.
- The separation between the watch program and the association should be made clear and communicated on a regular basis.
- The neighborhood watch volunteers are just that. They should not carry badges or weapons, wear uniforms or misguide others to believe they are in a position to provide security to the association.
Share your success stories with your neighborhood watch programs.