Senator Berta Gardner

August 31, 2016

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Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed

716 W 4th Ave Suite 411
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: 907-269-0155
Call Me: 1-800-331-4930

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Governor Bill Walker
Anchorage Office
550 W. 7th Ave, Ste 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-7450

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Anchorage Office
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Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-7460

APD Guidelines for Starting a Community Neighborhood Watch Program

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Senator Gardner during a ride along with APD.
Senator Gardner during a ride along with APD.

I was recently shocked and horrified to read about the tragedy that happened in Valley of the Moon Park this past weekend.   The lives of these victims were cut far too short, and my heart goes out to their loved ones.

What should we do now?  Citizens are discussing their concerns on social media, and I share in their fear and uncertainty about the next steps we might take to keep ourselves and our families safe.  A few local community council groups have discussed banding together to start neighborhood watch programs.  I think that this is an excellent idea, and lucky for us, APD has developed helpful guidelines to do just that: 

How to start a Neighborhood Watch

Step 1.
Contact your neighbors and see what the expressed level of interest is. APD has brochures that they can email or mail you to help introduce and explain the program. Contact the Anchorage Crime Watch Program at 786-8585 or to request materials. Find out what night of the week would work best for the majority of your group.

Step 2.
Decide on the boundaries of your Neighborhood Watch. Will it be a city block, a condo association or half of a long street? Group size should be kept within manageable limits. A useful rule of thumb is when it comes down to making phone calls, or ringing doorbells, no one should be responsible for more than 20 homes. All participants should be able to clearly see each other’s homes. Keep the group small and manageable.

Step 3.
Call the Anchorage Crime Watch Program office at 786-8585 and schedule an Introduction Presentation with the staff. They are available Monday through Thursday from noon until 10pm. A 7pm start time has historically worked well for most working families. The presentation is about an hour long and may be longer with questions. The staff will provide your group with a crime map detailing the past year’s reported crime in your group’s area.

Step 4.
Hold the Presentation. Choose a meeting place that is handy to your area. A presentation held in the home of a participant usually draws the best turnout versus one that is held at a location participants have to drive to.

Suggested Meeting Checklist:

1. Find a meeting place that is free, conveniently located and of a suitable size.

2. Establish a time and date convenient for residents and the Neighborhood Watch staff.

3. Promote the meeting by invitations, email and word of mouth to all neighbors in your area. The meeting should be promoted as an opportunity for problem solving through dialogue with neighbors and Neighborhood Watch staff.

4. Set up the meeting place to encourage interaction by all participants. Set up reception tables so that attendees may be able to sign up for the new Neighborhood Watch.

Once at least 50% of the designated area has participated in the presentation, you will qualify for window clings and decals provided by the program staff. A sign will be posted in your area as decided by the Municipal Traffic Office with coordination from the key person or organizer.

The higher the participation rate in a Neighborhood Watch group, the more effective the group will be. If participation is less than 50%, we can hold more than one presentation to get the whole group qualified.

I’m Berta and I’m still listening,

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.

signed: Berta

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