Recently one of the communities here in PGA National instituted a Crime Watch program. The first public meeting was held, crime watch signs are in place and citizens are becoming more attuned to what transpires around them.
Personally I believe this is a good idea. While the overall crime rate is still currently very low in PGA National, that is not the case in many surrounding communities. The economy being what it is means there are just that many more people walking about looking for opportunistic circumstances to commit crime. These are the garden variety thefts that appear, to those who commit them, to be of low risk.
While PGA National is very well patrolled by both your security department and Palm Beach Gardens police, this is a huge community with over 5,000 homes and many businesses. It has about 43 separate communities and many HOAs. More eyes and ears are always welcome to help us do an even better job. To be fair, many residents do take an active interest in their community and call us with information they believe could be useful. We certainly have encouraged this in the past and in no way want this to end. There are, however, certain advantages to an organized approach through a crime watch program.
Neighborhood crime watch is one of the most effective ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Bonds form between neighbors, security and police. In the end, the entire community is better served.
How do you start a crime watch? It’s really easy. The basics are:
- Organize a small group of neighbors to discuss concerns, the level of interest and the possible neighborhood problems.
- Schedule a date, place and time to hold your first crime watch meeting.
- Contact the Palm Beach Gardens Crime Prevention Unit and Wackenhut security for assistance.
“Making the neighborhood safe” is the goal of any crime watch. Neighbors watch out for each other. They know the area like no one else and will be the first to observe anything out of order. Many times this also serves as springboard to address other community concerns.
If what has been discussed sounds right for your neighborhood, give it a try. Both your police department and your security department will be there to help you.