Neighborhood Watch

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WATCH TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS

 

 

POLICE AND FIRE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER Ė 703-691-2131 or cellular #2677 (#COPP):  This number is Fairfax Countyís non-emergency number.  It is useful to call if thereís police or fire department activity you might want to find out about (including police helicopter activity) or of thereís something to report which you donít think is an emergency.  Any concerned citizen can use it 24 hours a day.

 

THE PATROL:  Two families are assigned per watch week to allow sharing of the load.  While specific arrangements are up to the team, a suggested split is Sunday through Thursday for one family and Friday through Sunday for the other.  Any agreed upon division of effort, however, is satisfactory.

 

LENGTH OF PATROLS:  Each TEAM should plan to be on patrol a total of at least 5 hours during their watch week (2 Ĺ hours per family).  Times for patrols are to be decided by each watch team.  Friday and Saturday evenings (after dark) should account for at least 2 hours of the weekís patrol hours.  Itís understood that most people have to work during the day, but if thereís any way to do it, try to spend some time during a week day patrolling.

 

TWO-PERSON PATROLS:  There should be two adults in the car when on patrol; however, itís better to have a watch car with one adult than no watch car at all.

 

WATCH LOG:  There is a watch log with the watch material.  Please us it to jot down your names, patrol times, occurrences during your patrols, and anything else you think should be recorded.

 

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS:  Use the cellular phone to call the Police and Fire Communications Center (press #2677 SEND for non-emergency calls; in case of emergency, press 911 SEND).  Start your communication with the words,  ďThis is Long Branch Neighborhood Watch.Ē  After you make your call, do not remain nearby, thus alerting possible wrong-doers.  Remain on the line as long as the Police Operator needs you.  Do not attempt to take personal action.  Neighborhood Watch is not on the street to stop crimes in progress; weíre there to be seen, to watch, report, and prevent crimes.

 

VISIBILITY:  We want to make the Long Branch Neighborhood Watch as visible as possible.  Always use the Neighborhood Watch signs on your car no matter what time of day you are patrolling.  BUT remove the signs before you drive out of the neighborhood.  The signs make great souvenirs for a teenagerís wall.  IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE MAGNETIC CAR SIGNS, donít go on watch.  Conscientious neighbors may call the police if they see a slow-moving car cruising Long Brach at odd hours.  You may be stopped and have to talk your way out of the situation.  (This one we learned from experience!)

 

IF YOU CANíT BE ON WATCH THE WEEK YOUíRE SCHEDULED:  It is your responsibility to find a replacement.  First, try to switch with someone on your schedule list; if youíre unable to do that, contact Barb Mink (703)764-5829 for additional names from the master watch list.  If itís too late to switch or you still canít find a replacement, let your partner family know.

 

IF YOUR PARTNER CANíT BE ON WATCH:  Please patrol for as much of the 5-hour obligation as you possibly can.  Visibility is one if the keys to a successful neighborhood watch; every bit helps.

 

It would be wise to bring a cell phone. 

For questions or comments about Neighborhood Watch, please contact the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator at s.hrynkow@verizon.net."

 

 

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