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Neighborhood Watch Group Serves Warm Sands

Post Date:10/19/2007

Contact: Cindy Uken
Communications Director
City of Palm Springs

October 17, 2007

Reported crime is on the decline in the Warm Sands Neighborhood, and residents are crediting the ever-watchful “eyes and ears” of their active Neighborhood Watch Group for the downturn.

In July, there were 11 reports of property thefts in the neighborhood. In August, there were five reports of property theft, and in September there was just one report, according to Bill Post, treasurer of the Warm Sands Neighborhood Organization and chair of the Neighborhood Watch Group. Vandalism reports also took a nosedive, he said. There were eight reports of vandalism in July, none in August and only one in September.

Post credits the keen involvement of residents in the neighborhood as well as the growing interest and participation of Ramona Villas Homeowners Association and Ramon Mobile Home Park.

“We’re seeing a lot of participation from these two groups to increase the neighborhood watch for us all,” Post said. “I think that crime prevention in our neighborhood, and in the City, is going to take cooperation among many groups, residents, the police, and even people living in condos and mobile home parks. That’s what we’re doing here in Warms Sands. We’re getting everybody together to fight crime.”

Leslie Cyphers, Assistant Community Policing Officer, said the Warm Sands Neighborhood Watch group is “one of the best in the City. She, too, credits the “great participation” of the area’s residents for the success of the program. “Many times when these groups form, you will see great participation in the beginning then interest begins to wane,” Cyphers said. “That is not the case with the Warm Sands Neighborhood Group. The participation there just seems to keep growing.”

Scott Ogden, president of the 104-unit Ramona Villas Homeowners Association, said, “We’re just trying to get involved, get our people involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program in the Warm Sands Community and run with it. It looks like it’s going to be a good thing. People are very, very interested. The goal is to assign block captains so there is someone responsible to walk the grounds and be aware. Hopefully it will keep growing. All we want to do is make people aware that we have a strong neighborhood watch program.”

The Warm Sands Neighborhood Organization is bordered on the north by the South side of Ramon Road, on the south by the North side of Sunny Dunes, on the east by the West side of Sunrise Way, and on the west by the East side of Indian Canyon Way.

Neighborhood Watch is simply a good example of neighbors watching out for each other during the workday, evenings, vacations or any other absence, said Police Chief Gary Jeandron.

The purpose of the Neighborhood Watch program is to create an alert neighborhood by using simple crime prevention methods, Jeandron said. The program works through the mutual aid of neighbors watching the property of other neighbors.

“This has several advantages, including the fact that your neighbors know who you are, what type of car you drive, and who belongs, as a rule, at your residence,” Jeandron said. “A patrol officer driving by your home might not recognize someone as a stranger in your yard. However, an alert neighbor would recognize the person as a stranger. They could then call 9-1-1 to alert
police of the suspicious activity.”

Neighborhood Watch does not promote vigilantism. Members of Neighborhood Watch groups are never asked to "patrol" the neighborhood or put themselves in harm's way to prevent crime, Jeandron said. They should only observe and report suspicious activities to the Police Department. This leaves the responsibility for confronting and apprehending criminals where it belongs-with your Palm Springs Police Officers. Warm Sands is one of the 13 officially recognized neighborhoods in the City's Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI). Established by City Ordinance in April 2005, the ONI is a vehicle for encouraging citizen involvement in service delivery and improving communication among citizens, City staff and elected officials.

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