May 6 Meeting Notes

GNA Meeting Notes from May 6, 2010

Notes taken by Lynn Anderson, Legislative Field Representative, Ward 1

Nancy Castillo of the Riverside Police Department presented on “How to Organize a Neighborhood Watch.”

Nancy is a contact for the neighborhood watch groups, for the dispersion of local information. (To be included on Nancy’s e-mails, please contact her directly at ) She says that residents should be “co-producers” of public safety, along with the police and city hall. Because bad guys move around, they need lots of eyes and ears in the neighborhoods to help report their activity and keep track of their movements.

Lynn Anderson, who is Councilman Mike Gardner’s assistant, is the city hall contact. For non-emergency calls, residents should call 311 (e.g. to report streetlight repair) or 787-7911 for police non-emergency calls.

Residents (including kids and senior citizens) should take note of anything that is “out of the ordinary” and report it to the police. With 40 million crimes committed every year, no one should be complacent. Cooperation between neighbors and police can help “harden the target” and prevent crime.

Nancy encourages neighbors to get acquainted with each other, and even to map out the neighborhood and put information on a map. Residents shouldn’t assume that another neighbor is calling the police department. Jot down license plate numbers.

Neighborhood Watch signs cost $25.00 and that includes the bracket to post signs on light poles. Signs should be posted high enough so that they are out of reach of graffiti artists. For anyone who wants to start a Neighborhood Watch, please call Nancy Castillo at 951) 826-8721.

To address the problem of squatters in repossessed homes, call the police department and the real estate agents. Call 311 so that code can board up the homes.

Detective Adrian Tillett from the Riverside Police Department on “How to Be a Good Witness.”

He has 11 years with RPD and was part of the SWAT team for 7 years. He now works as a detective in the North NPC for property crimes.

He encourages people to be good witnesses because police need accurate  information (license plates, etc.) in order to be useful. Also, if criminals know that police come to a particular neighborhood, they go somewhere else. Putting oneself in the place of the victim, it is the right thing to do.

Retaliation and exposure can be minimized. Residents can ask officers not to visit their homes and can also request anonymity.

Residents should call 911, stay calm and should not chase criminals or get involved. They should see without being seen. It is important to get suspect’s description including information about gender, race/ethnicity, complexion, tattoos, scars, moles, freckles and face. Information about hairstyle, facial hair and facial features is also important. Witnesses should also take note of glasses, sunglasses, braces, clothing, hat and attire.

For vehicle descriptions, use the acronym CYMMBL which stands for Color, Year, Make, Model, Body style and License and state.

Additional features to take note of are tinted windows, stickers, body damage and direction of travel.

Cell phone calls to 911 go to California Highway Patrol. Call 787-7911 from cell to reach RPD and tell them it is an emergency.

POP officers are the first line who deal with quality of life issues.

Mike Gardner, City Councilman on neighborhood update. (Lynn Anderson attended in his place and said that the draft EIR is forthcoming on Tequesquite Park.

Bonnie Tovaas on GNA Business.

The next two meetings will be held on August 5 and November 4. We will not be handing out fliers to announce meetings so please note them in your calendars.

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