Summit Crime Watch: Call for Block Captains

The neighborhood Crime Watch group is making a call for Block Captains.  Ultimately, this is a way we can help reduce crime in our neighborhood.  Can you be your block’s captain?  Can you forward this to the person who can?

Here is the website: www.summitcrimewatch.org

From Monica Anderson, neighborhood liason for Miriam Hospital and Crime Watch leader:

The Crime Watch of Summit Neighborhood (CRWSN) needs you!

Formed in 2009, CRWSN has surveyed neighbors, created a website, logo, and mission statement.  We  have a draft set of by-laws and are working on becoming a non-profit organization and we have held trainings and informational sessions with the police and other Crime Watch Organizations in Rhode Island.

The next step to effectively launch the CRWSN is to create a network of Block Captains within The Summit Neighborhood.  The Block Captain program is the most important next step to help make Summit a safer place to live.   Block Captains hold a meeting with neighbors on their street and serve as the central liaison for information sharing.  Block Captains then relay information back to the Crime Watch organization.

Below is an outline of the role of Block Captain. Block Captains are friendly ambassadors willing to hold a meeting or two and help get their street organized.  The role requires a little work up front, but the shared concern of neighbors looking out for one another on a regular basis eases the overall requirement of the position.

If you are interested in being a Block Captain and need assistance in setting up your first “block/street” meeting, please contact Monica Anderson by calling (401) 793 4040. The CRWSN provides support to Block Captains in the form of helping create and copy fliers for their meetings, providing educational materials, and by placing a notice on the CRWSN website.  We can even provide you with the names of people on your block who have already expressed interest in helping on their street.

The next Crime Watch of Summit Neighborhood Meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 20th at 6:00 p.m. at The Miriam Hospital Sopkin Auditorium.

Block Captain Responsibilities:

1.Ensure your group meets at least twice a year by coordinating the meetings, cookouts, block parties, etc. and report the meeting dates to the CRWSN President or Vice President.

For more information, please call Monica Anderson at 793 2120.

2. Educate your block on what suspicious activity is, and how and when to report it.

Be the central person whom neighbors call when they have a NON-Emergency, a question, or a non-emergency concern.  Be sure that you educate everyone on your block to call the police if they see any suspicious occurring.

3. Develop a block map and roster for your group that includes names, addresses, and phone numbers and e-mails for each group member.  Telephone trees can help expedite emergency information among your neighbors.  Develop a neighborhood chart that includes the names and phone numbers of all members.  Ensure that each individual listed on the tree knows whom he is to contact should emergency or other important information need to be disseminated in a hurry.  Develop an alert plan reflecting the name and phone number of each household – e-mail distribution list or phone tree for notification of suspicious activity.

4. Greet new neighbors and invite them to join the program

5. Inform and distribute to group members any crime related information received from the police department.

6. Keep a record of break-ins, vandalism, graffiti, and/or any activity that becomes a concern for you and your neighbors. Provide this type of information to neighbors at your next block meeting.

7. Be the liaison between your “Block” and the CRWSN.  Attend meetings, as you are able.

8. Attend one of the Block Captain training modules offered throughout the year.

9. Gather and share information

Knowing your neighbors’ basic habits and belongings will help you to recognize unusual or suspicious activities. Basic information you might exchange includes:

-Home and work phone numbers

-Number, ages and identify family members

-Work hours

-School hours of children

-Number and types of automobiles

-Who has dog(s)?

-Planned vacations or visitors

-Scheduled deliveries or repairs

-Any other helpful information

10. Encourage neighbors to advise you concerning criminal activity. Your position as a Block Captain does not give you any law enforcement authority. You are the person who facilitates the unity of the group, disseminates information, and coordinates activities.

Group Members Responsibilities:

  1. Be alert to suspicious activities in your neighborhood.

  1. Notify Block Captain if your contact information changes.

  1. Learn neighbors’ names and be able to identify their vehicles and other vehicles usually in your neighborhood.

  1. Keep an up to date block map, roster, and other important group information in an accessible and secure location.

  1. Implement security measures suggested by your CPO or Block Captain.

  1. Notify police and block captain of any suspicious activity.

  1. DO NOT TAKE ANY PERSONAL RISK to prevent a crime or execute an arrest.  It is more important to have a healthy, injury free witness whose recollection of the incident is not tainted by fear, anxiety, or pain.  The safety and well being of every person in the group is most important.

  1. Attend the “Block” meetings.

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