A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Neighborhood Watch Meetings: December & January

The HarriOak and Adams Point neighborhoods are coming together to organize a network of neighborhood watch groups. If you want neighborhood watch signs on your block, you MUST attend two organizational meetings at the Westlake Middle School. The first meeting is Tuesday, December 16, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The second meeting is Tuesday, January 20, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. We will publish the room location as soon as we know it.

Here are some notes from a Fairmount block captain who recently attended the city's big Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee meeting at City Hall.

1) I recently attended a Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee Meeting at City Hall. A presentation was given by Deputy Chief Jeffrey Israel of the Oakland Police Department regarding the recent increase in burglaries in Oakland. There was a great deal of information provided including tips on taking preventative measures. A good deal of emphasis was placed on neighbors taking an active role in observing activities in your neighborhood. Here are some items to consider:
a) Potential burglars observe activity in a neighborhood, or lack thereof. If they walk up and down a street will they be observed or greeted? Sometimes the fact that their mere presence has been observed could be enough of a deterrent.
b) Some "casing" techniques are riding up and down the street on a bicycle, sitting in a parked car for a long period of time, someone knocking door to door, or it could be someone that you don't recognize just sitting in place for a long period of time.
c) One of the most effective ways to assist the police department is to funnel information to them. If you place a call, try to be as detailed as possible. Include such details as a description of clothing, direction of travel, height and build, etc. If it is not an emergency that does not require 911, you can reach the Oakland Police Department non-emergency line at (510) 777-3333.

2) A few of you may have observed the Neighborhood Watch Signs that were installed along Fairmount Avenue between Harrison Street and 29th Street. Currently there are 3 signs up. We are currently awaiting the installation of 2 additional signs. These signs are at the very least a visual reminder that a watch group exists on our street, however to be an effective watch group will require real participation through keeping a watchful eye on our street with a willingness to call the police department when appropriate.

3) Our relatively quiet street had a few incidents over the last few weeks. Some of these occured in the early hours of the morning. Several residents were awakened and the police were called on the scene several times. These turned out to be domestic disturbances with no observed physical violence or arrests taking place. A reminder: It is not enough to simply stand by your window or balcony, rubbernecking over what may happen next. Do not leave it up to your fellow neighbors to call the police in these instances. Take action and make the call yourself! Good work to those who took the initiative to make those calls.

4) We are having an Emergency Preparedness Meeting at the First Christian Church on Monday, November 10 at 6:30pm. This FREE training class is sponsored by the Oakland Fire Department. I have attached 2 informational sheets regarding this class, which is called the CORE 1 Home and Family Preparedness Class. We will have a Core 2 class on the following Monday November 17 at 6:30pm. This is open to all who would like to attend. See Attached Information:

Photo courtesy of Adam Rice.

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