Spokane COPS is recruiting volunteers. They’re looking for anyone over the age of 18 to help out with front desk operations, flyer distribution, fingerprinting, Operation Family ID, Block Watch coordination, and lots more.
If you’re interested, get in touch with your nearest COPS substation (in Emerson-Garfield, that’s COPS North Central) or call the COPS main office at (509) 835-4572. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pass a criminal background check (natch).
They’re also encouraging apartment residents to form Block Watch groups for their buildings or complexes.
Block Watch really just organizes and extends what you are probably already doing on an informal basis. We tend to know and watch out for our closest neighbors, but a group of neighbors at one end of the building or on another floor may not know the group of neighbors in another part of the building. Organizing a Block Watch for your building makes this attitude of watchfulness more systematic, and provides a map with neighbors’ names, telephone numbers and e-mails that can be used in case of an emergency.
Block Watch is simple to begin and can improve the security of your building while increasing your sense of community. It doesn’t require you to perform any special tasks, go to a lot of meetings, or take on extra responsibilities. You don’t have to patrol the neighborhood, or tell your neighbors every aspect of your business. Block Watch just involves being alert as a part of your everyday life. You and your neighbors should be familiar enough with each other to know who belongs in the building and who doesn’t, which cars are a part of your community and which aren’t, and to recognize when something suspicious is going on and being a little more observant of changes in your surroundings.
Independent studies have shown that an active crime prevention program, which includes a Crime Watch, can reduce the likelihood of residential burglary by up to 60%.
Just complete a Block Watch Representative Application, pass a background check and you’re on your way. For more information on a Block Watch for your apartment property, please visit the dedicated page on the Spokane COPS website.